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Human Rights Due Diligence in SMEs

While there is increased attention for how companies can deal with human rights risks, the focus is often on large (multinational) enterprises, while SMEs are seen as too small to make a difference. Working together with SMEs and with a variety of other societal stakeholders, this project aims to identify ways in which SMEs can implement an effective process of ‘Human Rights Due Diligence’ (HRDD). The two PhD projects aim at understanding (1) why SMEs decide to engage in efforts to address human rights risks; (2) how SMEs transform this engagement into concrete organizational practices; (3) what are barriers and opportunities that SMEs face when attempting to assess and address human rights risks more systematically by carrying out human rights due diligence (HRDD) and (4) to critically assessing the potential of multi-stakeholder collaboration to strengthen SME efforts to carry out HRDD. The PhD project will mainly analyse how the engagement in human rights can result in a more systematic and inclusive HRDD strategy based on action research methodologies, including field research in sites and suppliers along the value chain. The PhD project will investigate organisational processes of transformation and translation of engagement in HRDD into contextualized organisational practices. This will be done on the basis of quick scan and in-depth case study research.

Date:1 Oct 2020 →  Today
Keywords:human rights due diligence, sme, kmo
Disciplines:Sociology of complex organisations, Social problems , Economic sociology
Project type:PhD project