Volume 4, 2009
A Survey of International Corporate Responsibility
Esther M. J. Schouten
The Process of Embedding Human Rights within Subsidiaries of a Multinational Corporation
Multinational companies (MNCs) can have positive and negative impacts on the human rights situation of a country. More and more MNCs have made a commitment to respect human rights. So far, little research has been done on how MNCs can embed their commitment and which factors determine its success. This paper therefore aims to describe and learn from the process of embedding human rights in six subsidiaries of the multinational oil company Royal Dutch Shell (in short, Shell), operating in different parts of the world. It develops an approach based on the model of Tatiana Kostova. Using a specific tool called the Human Rights Compliance Assessment, the paper concludes that, despite differences in local context, the process requirements of embedding global standards
can be the same.