Transnational Governance of Workers’ Rights: Outlining a Research Agenda

Journal of Business Ethics 87 (2):169-188 (2009)


In twentieth century Europe and the USA, industrial relations, labour, and workers' rights issues have been handled through collective bargaining and industrial agreements between firms and unions, with varying degrees of government intervention from country to country. This industrial relations landscape is currently undergoing fundamental change with the emergence of transnational industrial relations systems that complement existing national industrial relations systems. Despite the significance of this ongoing change, existing research has only started to explore the implications of this change for how workers' rights are governed around the globe. This paper addresses this gap by outlining an agenda for future research into the transnational governance of workers' rights. Fulfilling such a research agenda would be both challenging, as it requires combining the so far divergent industrial relations and business ethics research streams, and rewarding, as it provides ample scope for promising future research.

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