Soft law regulation and labour rights reporting: a deficit in moral legitimacy?

Article


Parsa, S., Roper, I., Maurer, I. and Muller-Camen, M. 2023. Soft law regulation and labour rights reporting: a deficit in moral legitimacy? Accounting Forum. https://doi.org/10.1080/01559982.2023.2250030
TypeArticle
TitleSoft law regulation and labour rights reporting: a deficit in moral legitimacy?
AuthorsParsa, S., Roper, I., Maurer, I. and Muller-Camen, M.
Abstract

This paper compares and contrasts British and German transnational corporations’ (TNCs) reporting on the labour rights of workers in their global value chains (GVCs) for the years 2012 and 2018, using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines – an initiative that comes under the category of soft law regulation. Between these dates, regulatory changes took place in Britain and in the EU which had relevance to the reporting of labour rights issues more generally. Simultaneously the GRI reporting guidelines shifted to more flexible requirements in the transition from G3.1 to G4. This paper examines the consequences of these changes and finds that, in combination, these changes did not lead TNCs to improving the labour rights reporting. The paper suggests that even though reporting to international guidelines tends to be context-based, there was some convergence in this broadly negative outcome. This all suggests that there was an element of regulatory capture in the shifts to softer regulatory regimes. Conceptually, this points to a reduction in substantive disclosures and leads to a deficit in moral legitimacy and its displacement by more pragmatic legitimacy.

KeywordsBritish TNCs; German TNCs; Labour rights reporting; Moral Legitimacy; Pragmatic Legitimacy; Regulatory Capture
Sustainable Development Goals8 Decent work and economic growth
Middlesex University ThemeSustainability
LanguageEnglish
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
JournalAccounting Forum
ISSN0155-9982
Electronic1467-6303
Publication dates
Online10 Oct 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Aug 2023
Deposited15 Dec 2023
Output statusIn press
Accepted author manuscript
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Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Accounting Forum. Sepideh Parsa, Ian Roper, Iris Maurer & Michael Mueller-Camen (2023) Soft law regulation and labour rights reporting: a deficit in moral legitimacy?, Accounting Forum, DOI: 10.1080/01559982.2023.2250030. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/01559982.2023.2250030
Web of Science identifierWOS:001078393900001
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