John Ruggie analyses power of multinational firms - aims to bridge gap between voluntary & binding approaches

Author: John Ruggie, Harvard University, Regulation & Governance (Australia), Published on: 28 June 2017

"Multinationals as global institution: Power, authority and relative autonomy", 27 June 2017

This article aims to inform the long-standing and unresolved debate between voluntary corporate social responsibility and initiatives to impose binding legal obligations on multinational enterprises. The two approaches share a common feature: neither can fully much of the people and planet agenda either can expect to deliver...[as] neither is based on a foundational political analysis of the multinational enterprise in the context of global governance...This article begins to bridge the gap by illustrating aspects of the political power, authority, and relative autonomy of the contemporary multinational enterprise...Two implications for future work in this area...[include] that scholarship and practice should strive to better understand the limits of both CSR and the pursuit of international treaties governing multinational enterprises [and] that much greater attention should be paid to the dynamic interplay between the two spheres, and its potential cumulative effects. [refers to Alphabet, Apple, British American Tobacco, Coca-Cola, Disney, ExxonMobil, GE, Google, Microsoft, Novartis, Occidental Petroleum, Philip Morris International, Reynolds American, Shell, Sinopec, Starbucks, Statoil, Total, Toyota, Unilever]

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Related companies: Alphabet Apple British American Tobacco Coca-Cola Equinor (formerly Statoil) ExxonMobil General Electric Google (part of Alphabet) Microsoft Novartis Occidental Petroleum Philip Morris International Reynolds American RJ Reynolds (part of Reynolds American) Shell Sinopec Starbucks Total Toyota Unilever Walt Disney