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Private Pressure for Social Change in south Africa: The Impact of the Sullivan Principles

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  • Bernasek, A.
  • Poster, R.C.

Abstract

The Sullivan Principles represented an attempt in the 1970s and 1980s in the United States to apply private pressure, as an alternative to government sanctions, to put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In this paper we assess the impact of the Principles on the employment practices of a sample of U.S. firms operating in South Africa that were signatories to the Principles. We examine the extent of their commitment to improving conditions of employment for their nonwhite employees, in the areas of employment growth, wages, and advancement into management and supervisory positions. Our results indicate that the impact of the Sullivan Principles was modest at best. The evidence leads to the conclusion that in this case, private pressure was not a powerful force for social change.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bernasek, A. & Poster, R.C., 1990. "Private Pressure for Social Change in south Africa: The Impact of the Sullivan Principles," Papers 125, Michigan - Research on Economic Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:michde:125
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    Cited by:

    1. Sébastien Mena & Marieke Leede & Dorothée Baumann & Nicky Black & Sara Lindeman & Lindsay McShane, 2010. "Advancing the Business and Human Rights Agenda: Dialogue, Empowerment, and Constructive Engagement," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 93(1), pages 161-188, April.

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