The 'Court of Public Opinion:' Public Perceptions of Business Involvement in Human Rights Violations

Matthew Amengual, Rita Mota, Alexander Rustler

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

7 Cites (Scopus)


Public pressure is essential for providing multinational enterprises (MNEs) with motivation to follow the standards of human rights conduct set in soft-law instruments, such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. But how does the public judge MNE involvement in human rights violations? We empirically answer this question drawing on an original survey of American adults. We asked respondents to judge over 12,000 randomly generated scenarios in which MNEs may be considered to have been involved in human rights violations. Our findings reveal substantial gaps between public judgments and the standards set in soft law and the normative literature. We identify the attributes of episodes of human rights violations involving MNEs that influence public judgments, including the relationship between the MNE and the perpetrator, the practice of due diligence, and the type of abuse. These results provide insights as to when we might expect public pressure to drive MNE compliance with soft-law instruments, and they direct attention to specific standards that will likely require stronger, 'hard' law approaches or broader efforts to shift the public's view.
Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)49-74
Nombre de pàgines26
RevistaJournal of Business Ethics
Data online anticipadade jul. 2022
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de juny 2023
Publicat externament


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