Global Framework Agreements and Trade Unions as Monitoring Agents in Transnational Corporations

  • Rémi BourguignonEmail author
  • Pierre Garaudel
  • Simon Porcher
Original Paper


In combining the micropolitics approach in international management, the industrial relations literature and business ethics, this article conceptualizes global framework agreements as an alliance between central CSR managers of transnational corporations and central actors within trade unions to monitor subsidiaries in the implementation of CSR policies. The empirical investigation, based on the qualitative analysis of ten French multinational companies, confirms the relevance of such a conceptualization. It particularly shows that central CSR managers hope mobilizing the union network to increase their capacity to supervise subsidiaries. Over there, it helps understanding concrete mechanisms adopted to implement global framework agreements since, in some of the studied cases, the managerial and union channels are coordinated precisely to strengthen this capacity. It, then, highlights the procedural nature of policies regarding global framework agreements. Overall, this paper examines the conditions necessary for mobilization of the union network and suggests avenues for future research.


Global framework agreement Global union federation Trade union network Monitoring 



This study was funded by the Paris office of the International Labour Organization.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rémi Bourguignon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pierre Garaudel
    • 1
  • Simon Porcher
    • 1
  1. 1.IAE Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Sorbonne Business School)ParisFrance

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