Uneven Practices in Voluntary Labour Commitments: an exploration of major listed companies through the VigeoEiris database
Over recent decades, the emergence of new forms of private governance has been one of the most important features in global labour governance and a subject of extensive research. At the moment, as most research is based on case studies related to certain firms or sectors, our understanding of private governance is still fragmented and little is known about the degree to which major companies worldwide support these mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to provide a preliminary overview of voluntary labour commitments undertaken by major listed companies worldwide. In this article, we highlight the relatively uneven practices according to different socioeconomic characteristics. Companies originating from Western Europe clearly stand out as making more voluntary effort in general. A relatively small number of companies worldwide disclose strong commitment to freedom of association for example. These companies generally fare better in other CSR dimensions. Focusing on enterprises from Western Europe and North America, we also discuss the way companies might be affected by controversies in their global operations, and question the link between CSR practices and controversies.