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From awareness to action: exploring the development of human rights within UK companies from a sensemaking and organising perspective

Obara, Louise 2015. From awareness to action: exploring the development of human rights within UK companies from a sensemaking and organising perspective. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This doctoral study explored how a commitment to human rights evolved, developed and unfolded within 22 UK companies from the perspective of those responsible (some 30 participants). It did so by adopting a flexible, exploratory and inductive research design within a broader interpretive and qualitative approach. A purposeful sampling strategy was used to select companies from a previous study and semi-structured interviews were conducted with business managers from a cross-section of UK companies. The data was analysed and structured using a process based sensemaking and organising framework consisting of three interconnected stages which, together, illustrate the development of human rights within UK companies. In summary;  The first stage, enactment, describes when companies first noticed human rights and what they did to understand its relevance to the corporate setting (and in doing so enacted human rights, bringing it into existence for the company).  The second stage explores the formal interpretation of human rights adopted by companies and the language used to convey and describe this understanding. It also notes the human rights standards that companies recognised and deemed relevant to their business operations.  The third stage focuses on the structures, processes and measures put in place by companies to action, organise and realise their understanding of human rights internally. It then focuses on lessons learned and knowledge retained for future use. The study makes a number of important empirical, methodological and practical contributions. It makes its principal contribution to the developing body of knowledge, practice and research in the business and human rights academic field. It does so by providing much needed qualitative, in-depth and nuanced data on how the human rights concept is used, interpreted and managed within the business setting.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 April 2016
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2017 05:51

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