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A Global Governance Shift in Development: A study on how transnational corporation´s CSR initiative can address Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining and how that can facilitate development
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Through globalization non-state actors including transnational corporations (TNC), have taken on a more important global governance role from the nation state, where they through their CSR initiatives, impact social issues surrounding development. There are however conflicting views whether CSR could contribute to development in the society. TNCs CSR engagement mainly concerns social issues at the workplace such as complying with labour rights. But workers right to organize and bargain collectively (FoA), which is a universally adopted labour right, is not emphasized on despite being vital for a democratic and sound labour market that ensures decent working and living conditions and even facilitates poverty reduction and development. Respecting FoA is particularly important in the context of a low-skilled and labor-intensive workforce with a low rule law and bad working conditions, which is often the case in developing countries where many of the apparel and telecom sector produces.

Based on the importance of FoA and the critical views whether TNCs CSR initiatives really can improve FoA and thus development, this thesis will explore whether and how three TNCs, that produces in the above described context, address FoA by analyzing their strict policy and practical measures taken. Through using and applying theory and empirics of CSR and FoA, this thesis is conducted as a comparative case study of H&M, IKEA and Ericsson through a qualitative text analysis.

The result shows that two out of three TNCs do not emphasize on addressing FoA since they disregard it as well as do not enforce practical measures directed toward FoA, but takes a more overall human rights approach. Whereas H&M highly address FoA by enforcing many projects that physically involves thousands of workers and enables them to organize and bargain collectively, which facilitates improved working and living conditions. The conclusion is that when TNCs, through their CSR initiatives, takes on a global governance role, they should address FoA by enforcing practical measures that physically involves and enable workers to organize and bargain collectively, since this can facilitate poverty reduction and development. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
transnational corporations, freedom of association, collective bargaining, global governance, development, poverty
Keyword [sv]
transnationella företag, föreningsfrihet, kollektivavtal, global styrning, utveckling, fattigdom
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-39201OAI: diva2:899601
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Political Science (180 ECTS credits)
Available from: 2016-02-02 Created: 2016-02-02 Last updated: 2016-02-02Bibliographically approved

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