Time for Duty: Temporal Orientations in Multinational Enterprises’ Responses to Accusations of Human Rights Misconduct

Alison E. Holm, Jasper Hotho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are promising actors for helping address human rights issues that transcend borders. At the same time, MNEs are frequently accused of breaching human rights. To fully understand how MNEs can be bring solutions to human rights challenges, we need to understand how they accommodate accusations of human rights misconduct. The transnational setting poses two main responsibility challenges that jeopardize effective MNE accommodative responses: the absence of a transnational regulatory body to determine the nature of a firm’s responsibility towards a specific human right issue, and the lack of equipment of MNEs towards tackling human rights issues in the public sphere. In this study, we ask: how do MNEs respond to (non-judicial) accusations of human rights misconduct in host countries? We address this question through an inductive, multiple case study of 28 MNE accommodative responses to human rights accusations. We find that MNEs use three tactics that invoke different temporal orientations: temporal alignment, temporal coupling and temporal decoupling. We contribute to the literatures on firm responses to accusations of misconduct as well as the role of time in corporate responsibility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business. AIB 2023 : International Business Resilience under Global Disruptions
EditorsKazuhiro Asakawa, Tunga Kiyak
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationEast Lansing, MI
PublisherAcademy of International Business
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventAIB 2023 Annual Meeting: International Business Resilience under Global Disruptions - SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 5 Jul 20239 Jul 2023
Conference number: 65


ConferenceAIB 2023 Annual Meeting
LocationSGH Warsaw School of Economics
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business

Cite this