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Human Rights in Business: Practical Challenges of Conducting Research with Impact

In the emerging academic field of Business and Human Rights (BHR), conducting research with real-world impact is the declared objective of many researchers. It is a field in which individual research interests and advocacy for human rights are often closely aligned.

Companies under pressure to manage human rights challenges also welcome research on applied research questions. They hope for scholarly guidance on implementation challenges and results that are readily applicable in corporate practice.

However, setting up research projects that meet the sometimes paradoxical requirements from academia and practice poses many challenges for researchers in this field. This includes:

  • How can researchers meet theoretical publication requirements while working on applied research questions?
  • How can researchers ensure research objectivity and independence if their projects require travel funds and support in the field by companies?
  • How can researchers work closely with companies to understand their business challenges while maintaining a critical distance to also challenge them with their findings?

In this webinar we will provide examples from our work conducted in the context of the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights. We will present our distinct research process and methodology to discuss with participants how to make further improvements. To close the webinar, we will highlight potential unintended consequences of conducting research with the declared objective of affecting change in company conduct.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

  • 7:00am Washington D.C.
  • 11:00am London
  • 12:00pm Geneva
  • 1:00pm Cape Town
  • 4:30pm Mumbai
  • 7:00pm Singapore


  • Dorothée Baumann-Pauly

    Director, Center for Business and Human Rights
    Geneva School of Economics and Management; NYU Stern School of Business

Webinar Recording