Accountability of Transnational Corporations in the Developing World: The Case for an Enforceable International Mechanism

Kamil Omoteso, H.O. Yusuf

Abstract

Purpose: This paper contends that the dominant voluntarism approach to the accountability of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) is inadequate and not fit-for-purpose. It argues for the establishment of an international legal mechanism for securing the accountability of TNCs particularly in the context of developing countries with notoriously weak governance mechanisms to protect all relevant stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach: The study adopts insights from the fields of management and international law to draw out synergies from particular understandings of corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and international human rights. The governance challenges in developing countries with regard to securing the accountability of TNCs is illustrated with the Nigerian experience of oil-industry legislation reform. Findings: The specific context of the experiences of developing countries in Africa on the operations of TNCs particularly commends the need and expedience to create an international legal regime for ensuring the accountability of TNCs. Originality/value: Mainstream research in this area has focused mainly on self and voluntary models of regulation and accountability that have privileged the legal fiction of the corporate status of TNCs. This article departs from that model to argue for an enforceable model of TNC accountability based on an international mechanism. Publisher statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here: https://curve.coventry.ac.uk/open/items/4a3bf47d-402e-46a7-9272-e524a6017863/1/ . Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-71
Number of pages7
JournalCritical perspectives on international business
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2017

Fingerprint

Accountability
Developing countries
Voluntarism
International law
Synergy
Human rights
Stakeholders
Governance
Legislation
Corporate social responsibility
Corporate governance
Developing world

Keywords

  • Transnational companies
  • Accountability
  • Corporate governance
  • Corporate and social responsibility
  • International Criminal Court

Cite this

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abstract = "Purpose: This paper contends that the dominant voluntarism approach to the accountability of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) is inadequate and not fit-for-purpose. It argues for the establishment of an international legal mechanism for securing the accountability of TNCs particularly in the context of developing countries with notoriously weak governance mechanisms to protect all relevant stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach: The study adopts insights from the fields of management and international law to draw out synergies from particular understandings of corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and international human rights. The governance challenges in developing countries with regard to securing the accountability of TNCs is illustrated with the Nigerian experience of oil-industry legislation reform. Findings: The specific context of the experiences of developing countries in Africa on the operations of TNCs particularly commends the need and expedience to create an international legal regime for ensuring the accountability of TNCs. Originality/value: Mainstream research in this area has focused mainly on self and voluntary models of regulation and accountability that have privileged the legal fiction of the corporate status of TNCs. This article departs from that model to argue for an enforceable model of TNC accountability based on an international mechanism. Publisher statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here: https://curve.coventry.ac.uk/open/items/4a3bf47d-402e-46a7-9272-e524a6017863/1/ . Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.",
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AB - Purpose: This paper contends that the dominant voluntarism approach to the accountability of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) is inadequate and not fit-for-purpose. It argues for the establishment of an international legal mechanism for securing the accountability of TNCs particularly in the context of developing countries with notoriously weak governance mechanisms to protect all relevant stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach: The study adopts insights from the fields of management and international law to draw out synergies from particular understandings of corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and international human rights. The governance challenges in developing countries with regard to securing the accountability of TNCs is illustrated with the Nigerian experience of oil-industry legislation reform. Findings: The specific context of the experiences of developing countries in Africa on the operations of TNCs particularly commends the need and expedience to create an international legal regime for ensuring the accountability of TNCs. Originality/value: Mainstream research in this area has focused mainly on self and voluntary models of regulation and accountability that have privileged the legal fiction of the corporate status of TNCs. This article departs from that model to argue for an enforceable model of TNC accountability based on an international mechanism. Publisher statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here: https://curve.coventry.ac.uk/open/items/4a3bf47d-402e-46a7-9272-e524a6017863/1/ . Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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