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CSR, Labour Rights, and Business Schools

There’s another story in the Globe and Mail today about the growing importance of teaching ‘corporate social responsibility” in business schools.  York’s Schulich School of Business seems to be winning awards every month for its CSR curriculum.  The Globe story notes that Schulich ranks first in a survey by Aspen Institute Centre for Business Education.

But I confess that these sorts of survey’s confuse me.  So maybe someone can help me understand.  Where are the courses on labour, workers’ rights, and human rights issues?  For example,   I’ve looked over Schulich’s MBA program as described on its website.  One specialist stream in the MBA program is “Business and Sustainability”, so that would presumably be a good place to start looking.  But damned if I can’t find any course that, on its face or in its brief description, deals in any obvious way with issues surrounding the responsibility of corporations to ensure that workers are treated properly, either the corporations’ own employees or employees of their suppliers.  Nor does the Business Ethics stream contain any obvious course specializing with labour issues.

Nor am I aware of any professor at Schulich who is an expert in labour law, employment law, human rights law, or the International Labour Organization, for example.  But perhaps I missed someone (if I did, I apologize).  I looked briefly at the professor bios, but perhaps I missed something.

So, my question is, do the business schools and the CSR rankings consider labour practices to be a central part of ‘corporate social responsibility’, or is CSR really about environmental issues and philanthropy?  I can’t imagine how a program that wins CSR awards can fail to have substantial content dealing with labour and human rights concerns, particularly in regards to global supply chains and multinational corporations.  I’d love to hear from anyone who knows about these things?

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4 Responses to CSR, Labour Rights, and Business Schools

  1. Michael Urminsky Reply

    March 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Dear Prof. Doorey,

    I read this post with interest, and did my own response, you may be interested

    see

    http://cdnlabourlaw.blogspot.com/2010/03/csr-workers-rights-and-business-schools.html

    All the best,

    Michael Urminsky

  2. Michael Urminsky Reply

    March 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Dear Prof. Doorey,

    I read this post with interest, and did my own response, you may be interested

    see

    http://cdnlabourlaw.blogspot.com/2010/03/csr-workers-rights-and-business-schools.html

    All the best,

    Michael Urminsky

  3. Michael Urminsky Reply

    March 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Dear Prof. Doorey,

    I read this post with interest, and did my own response, you may be interested

    see

    http://cdnlabourlaw.blogspot.com/2010/03/csr-workers-rights-and-business-schools.html

    All the best,

    Michael Urminsky

  4. Michael Urminsky Reply

    March 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Dear Prof. Doorey,

    I read this post with interest, and did my own response, you may be interested

    see

    http://cdnlabourlaw.blogspot.com/2010/03/csr-workers-rights-and-business-schools.html

    All the best,

    Michael Urminsky

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