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Titill
en

The United Nations Global Compact: The Icelandic Participants

Útgáfa
September 2011
Útdráttur
en

The objective of this dissertation is to examine the connection between the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) and Corporate Social Responsibility. Over the years the discussion of corporate social responsibilities (CSR) has grown in accordance with growing business activities in the global arena. This applies especially to the discussion of transnational companies in the developing countries. In the developing countries, there is a greater demand for responsible corporate practices and that companies are proactive within CSR, as infrastructure and governance is often weak within these countries. The objective of the Global Compact is to commit companies to integrate ten principles of better practices, within the area of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and encourage the support of broader UN goals of social and economic development. The purpose is to bridge the gap between business and society by involving companies in social and economic development globally.
The subject of this dissertation is the Global Compact. The purpose of the dissertation is twofold. Firstly, to explore the new challenges of the 21st century from an international relations perspective, which influenced the creation of the Global Compact. The role and purpose of the Global Compact will also be examined and its strength and weaknesses as well as the reason that companies, in general, participate in the Global Compact. Secondly, to explore why Icelandic companies participate in the Global Compact and discuss the results of the exploration in context with the first section of the dissertation. The research draws upon previous studies of the Global Compact, the McKinsey & Company research in 2004 and Fall and Zahran research in 2009 on behalf of the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit, to provide information on why companies participate in the Global Compact. The Global Compact has not, to the knowledge of the author, been explored previously in Iceland. A qualitative research method was used for the research.
The results of the research are that the Icelandic companies participate in the Global Compact to illustrate their commitment to better corporate practices and to support the initiative. However, the participants’ commitments are weak and results indicate that only two of six companies are taking proactive steps toward integrating the ten principles. Moreover, results show that the association with the UN was not an influencing factor for the Icelandic participants in participating in the Global Compact

Birting
15.9.2011


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