Go to the Undergraduate section
Go to the Postgraduate section
Go to the MBA section
Go to the Student Life section
Go to the Research section
Go to the Employers section
Go to the About section
PhD, MA, BA Hons
Business and Management
Oxford Brookes Business School
I joined Oxford Brookes Business School as Vice Chancellor Research Fellow in Business and Management in November 2017. In this early career research role, I will develop a research programme that expands on the findings of my Doctoral research (see below). My research project will explore issues of positionality, politics, and knowledge in the ways individuals across occupational levels in different sites of a multi-national corporation understand, interpret and make use of human rights in the workplace. I will also develop my publications portfolio working on publishing articles drawing on my Doctoral thesis and my last job at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.
My research interests lie at the intersection of socio-legal, organisational and business ethics research on human rights in business. My research contributes to the field of business and human rights by focusing on under-studied dynamics of implementation and translation of human rights language and tools intra-organisation. Using qualitative and interpretive methodology, it seeks to gain a deeper theoretical understanding of meaning-making processes of human rights and explores questions of identity, knowledge, politics and consciousness of human rights at different levels and sites of business organisations. In doing so, my research aims to inform the development of human rights due diligence and management processes as well as more participatory approaches to human rights in business. Related to this, I am also interested in questions of migrant workers and labour rights, access to decent work, supply chain management in sectors such as hospitality and garment in advanced and developing countries.
I've developed these research interests through my academic studies and work in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). I hold a PhD in Politics, an MA in International Law and International Relations, and a BA Hons in International Relations with Religion, Culture and Ethics from Oxford Brookes University. In my Doctoral Thesis ‘From business and human rights to human rights in business: Framing human rights and business responsibility in the British hospitality sector’. I focused on the meaning-making processes of human rights for employees, middle-managers, directors in hospitality businesses and compared them to corporate and government policies on business responsibility for human rights.
I have worked for several NGOs resarching and advocating for corporate accountability for human rights including Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), Amnesty International and most recently Business & Human Rights Resource Centre where I was Senior Researcher in Labour Rights. In this position, I researched what human rights due diligence policies and processes Western companies have in place to eliminate exploitation and ensure access to decent work for Syrian refugees in their supply chains in Jordan and Turkey. With RAID, I also researched labour rights and communities rights issues in the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo. My work in NGOs has given me deep insights in the relationships and dynamics of engagement between civil society organisations and businesses, and I have gained a rich experience of fieldwork, policy and advocacy research.
Work and Organizations Cluster, Business School, Oxford Brookes University
Cultures, Identities and Divisions Research Group, Oxford Brookes University
Oxford Business & Human Rights Network, Oxford University
Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association, BR2R, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University http://bhrscholarsassociation.org/
BRIghts Initiative, Department of Management Society & Communication, Copenhagen Business School, https://www.cbs.dk/en/research/departments-and-centres/department-of-management-society-and-communication/the-bhrights-initiative
How do migrant employees understand and articulate human rights in the British hospitality sector? This article contributes to the discussion on the translation of human rights responsibility in business by introducing ‘rights-talk’ as an analytical lens to explore and theorize about employees’ situated understanding and uses of human rights as a language and a moral evaluative frame. The analysis highlights the importance of (in)equality in employees’ everyday experience of rights and points to several disincentives for them to engage with and in rights-talk including social and organizational disrespect, managerial disregard for employees’ claims, and their largely connotative use of human rights language. These insights advance theorizing and opens research avenues on the significance of human rights in organizations from a bottom-up perspective, while the inquiry’s micro-level focus enriches BHR’s methodological toolbox. The findings are also significant for business human rights responsibility in contexts of heightened anti-immigration discourse and policies.
Goethals, Samentha, Bardwell Joseph, Bhacker, Mariam, & Ezzelarab, Bahaa (2017). ‘Business Human Rights Responsibility for Refugees and Migrant Workers: Turning Policies into Practice in the Middle East.’ Business and Human Rights Journal , 2 (2), 335-342. doi:10.1017/bhj.2017.11
Samentha Goethals, ‘ It’s about treating your employees well’ but ‘I disappear behind my mop!’ Framing Human Rights and Business Responsibility in the Hotel Sector in London , UK, Working Paper presented @ 1st PhD Summit on Business and Human Rights, St Gallen University, Switzerland 31 March - 1 April 2016 –, recommended for publication in Business and Human Rights Journal (Cambridge Journals)
Samentha Goethals, Juliette Koning and Math Noortmann, ‘Making-sense of human rights in business: positionality, knowledge and power in the British hotel sector’
Samentha Goethals, ‘Researching Human Rights in Business: Reflection on using interpretive qualitative methodology in a field privileging quantitative data’
Samentha Goethals, (2016), ' From business and human rights to human rights in business: Framing human rights and business responsibility in the British hospitality sector', Oxford Brookes University
Reports researched for and published by NGOs:
Samentha Goethals and Emre E. Korkmaz, (2017), What’s changed for Syrian refugees in Turkish garment supply chains: A survey & analysis of company action to address exploitation & abuse , Business & Human Rights Resource Centre https://www.business-humanrights.org/sites/default/files/Syrian%20Refugess%20in%20Turkey_Public%5B2%5D.pdf
Samentha Goethals and Rachel Chambers, (2016), Obstacle Course – How the UK’s National Contact Point handles human rights complaints , Amnesty International https://www.amnesty.org.uk/sites/default/files/uk_ncp_complaints_handling_full_report_lores_0.pdf
Samentha Goethals and Tricia Feeney, (2009), Working Conditions in Chinese Mining Operations in Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo , RAID http://www.raid-uk.org/sites/default/files/drc-china-report.pdf
Samentha Goethals, (2008), Comprendre les Principes Directeurs de l’OCDE et les Principes de l’ITIE, published by RAID, ACIDH, OSISA and OECDWatch http://www.oecdwatch.org/publications-fr/Publication_2238-fr
Business and human rights, particularly interested in socio-legal and organisational perspectives on implementation of human rights policies, language and tools in business organisations and supply chains, business ethics, and corporate and government policy analysis
Sociology of human rights
Migrant workers' rights
Access to decent work for refugees in the Middle East
Hospitality, garment, and mining sectors
Promoting corporate due diligence to enhance the human rights & security of refugees in Turkey', a multi-stakeholders roundtable co-organised with Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Foreign Trade Assocation (FTA) and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, Oxford, 18 October 2017
'Social Cohesion in Times of Uncertainty', Cumberland Lodge Colloquim co-organised with Dr Matthew Donoghue (Oxford University), Kerstie Frie (Oxford University), Dr Sadek Sessous (Newcastle University), and Ben Whitam (De Monfort University), 24-25 September 2017, Windsor
'Business & investor responsibility for decent and fair work in contexts of large-scale migration: Focus on Jordan', a multi-stakeholder roundtable co-organised with Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Tamkeen Field for Aid and Yarmouk University Forced migration, Displaced Persons and Refugees Studies Centre, 8 July 2017, Amman, Jordan
Samentha Goethals, What can companies specifically and realistically do to strengthen labour legislation in countries where they operate in or source from? Is it really their responsibility to do all of this? Why?, in Key Panel Session ‘A Moving World: Managing Migration and Exploitation in the Supply Chain’, Foreign Trade Association’s (FTA) Annual Conference on 14-15 June, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium
Samentha Goethals, How business can align practices with the UNGPs in challenging and complex human rights situations? Key Panel Session ‘Implementing the UNGPs’, H&M ChangeMakers Lab 4th April 2017, Stockholm, Sweden
Samentha Goethals, Developing and Implementing Modern Slavery Statement under the UK Modern Slavery Act, Panel Discussion 'Modern Slavery in the Corporate World', UCL Lawyers Without Borders Student Division, 21 February 2017, London
Samentha Goethals, What’s going on at the work-floor?’: Towards a socio-legal perspective on employees’ framing of human rights in British hospitality businesses, Working Paper presented to Oxford Business & Human Rights Network, Oxford Brookes University, 20 February 2018
Rachel Chambers and Samentha Goethals, Procedural and substantial barriers to remedy: A critical examination of the processes and decisions of the UK National Contact Point under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, Critical Legal Conference, Wroclaw Poland, 3-5 September 2015.
Samentha Goethals, ‘It’s a Farce!’ Methodological Dilemmas and the Politics of Evidence in the Field of Human Rights and Business Responsibility, presented at Crisis and Conflict, Human and Social Sciences Conference, Oxford Brookes University, 11 June 2015.
Samentha Goethals, ‘Hombre! I Disappear Behind My Mop!’: Misrecognition as Insecurity, presented at Human Security @ 20 Conference, Oxford Brookes University, 25-27 June 2014.
Matthew Hurley and Samentha Goethals, (Dis)Comfort Zones: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Authority, Vulnerability and Space in the Research Process, Humanities and Social Sciences Symposium, Oxford Brookes University, 27th February 2014.
Samentha Goethals, Asking the ‘Rights’ Question: Early Reflection on Approaching Fieldwork with Hotel Managers and Migrant Workers, presented at 2nd International Conference on Social Responsibility, Ethics and Sustainable Business, Bournemouth, 5-6 September 2013.
Samentha Goethals, Multi-stakeholders norm-making and neo-liberal governance: The Case of the UN Business and Human Rights Framework, presented at Workshop Neoliberal Legality, Oxford University, 21 June 2013.
Senior Research in Labour Rights, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, London (2016-2017)
Policy and Advocacy Research Consultant, Amnesty International, London (2015)
Policy and Advocacy Researcher, Rights & Accountability in Development, Oxford (2007-2015)
Samentha Goethals & Emre E. Korkmaz, (2018), Examining human rights protections for Syrian refugees in Turkish garment supply chains, Blog, Oxford Department of International Development
Samentha Goethals and Mariam Bhacker (2017), True cost of hospitality in the Gulf: A call to action for business & investors, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Samentha Goethals, Ezzeldeen Al-Natour, & Marti Flacks (2017), Decent work for Syrian refugees and other workers in Jordan: progress, hurdles, and next steps, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre