What are the corporate citizenship approaches of Swiss medium sized enterprises and large multinational corporations in their participation to the UN Global Compact?


The UN Global Compact (UNGC), with approximately 4000 members, the largest Corporate Citizenship (CC) initiative in the world, serves as an illustration of how corporations are expected to become involved in political activities on a global level. By signing the UNGC, companies voluntarily commit themselves to ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environment, and anti-corruption.

Citing the absence of screening or enforcement mechanisms to ensure that corporations adhere to the UNGC principles, numerous critics argue that the UNGC merely provides a forum for companies to “bluewash” questionable business practices constituting an easy possibility to brush up corporate image. A clear and consistent conceptualization of CC was lacking and a sound theoretical framework needed to be developed. Furthermore, previous studies rarely differentiated between large multinational corporations (MNCs) on the one hand, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) on the other one.

Project Keywords

  • Anti-corruption
  • Corporate citizenship
  • Economics
  • Global governance
  • Human rights
  • Labor standards
  • Private business


  • Economics
  • Human rights

Relevant Countries

  • All countries


This project, started in 2008, has been completed.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Andreas Georg Scherer
University of Zurich

Dorothee Baumann
Principal Member
University of Zurich

Patrick Haack
Principal Member
University of Constance

Guido Palazzo
Principal Member
University of Lausanne

Christopher Wickert
Principal Member