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Title: From business 'and' human rights to human rights 'in' business : framing human rights and business responsibility in the British Hospitality Sector
Author: Goethals, Samentha
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 613X
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2016
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In 2011, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which set out the norm of ‘corporate responsibility to respect human rights’. This interpretive qualitative study explores the meaning-making processes of human rights and business responsibility as articulated in governmental and corporate policy documents and by a variety of staff in the hospitality sector in the United Kingdom (UK). It aims to contribute to the literature on business and human rights by studying the context-specific meaning-making and implementation of human rights responsibility principles within hospitality organisations in the UK. I conducted interviews with people working in various positions in hospitality businesses (London and Oxford), investigated the policy documents of nine leading international hotel groups and examined the policy statements of the UK Government. I used framing analysis to explore and explain how human rights and business responsibility policies and ideas are understood, interpreted and articulated across these communities of meaning. Emphasising the socio-political nature of organisations, I identified significant differences and some overlaps between the expectations and experiences of these actors. Human rights policies and language are little known or used by work-floor participants and managers, and, conversely, their local knowledge of harms and ethical practice do not seem reflected in the more generic, legally responsive, public and overseas-oriented policies of the international hotel groups and the UK Government. While all actors use the language and/or ideas of human rights as means to craft and perform identities, the meanings of, knowledge about and ability to articulate human rights all depend on their social and organisational positionalities and political objectives. To overcome critical barriers in the development of human rights practice and consciousness in business, I propose a paradigm shift to human rights in business. This enhances a more participatory and contextual approach to human rights due diligence which is inclusive of and more sensitive to local knowledge of human rights.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available