Research and Methods

Nicole's research agenda is situated in the business and human rights field. In her dissertation and paper projects, Nicole focuses on foreign investment, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and labor standards.

In her dissertation, "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Human Rights and Labor Standards: An Industry Sector Approach", she examined effects of multinational corporations and their foreign investment on human rights and labour standards. Employing a new theoretical approach and statistical analyses across ten industry sectors, the study showed that the impact of investment depends on the kind of investment [thesis abstract].

Before her PhD, Nicole analyzed American Civil Religion after 9/11 and co-edited a volume on the philosophy of human rights. Her current research is guided by the following questions and methods:


Business and Human Rights

  • What is the impact of multinational corporations and their investment on labor rights?
  • How do companies recognize and take responsibility for human rights?
  • What drives CSR commitment of MNCs in developing countries?
  • How can controversial industries, e.g. oil companies, improve firm-community dialogue?

Mixed Methods Research

  • Cross-country time series analysis, multiple imputation, graphics in R
  • Interviews, (legal) document analysis, coding, critical discourse analysis, qualitative case studies
  • Intensive methods training at Essex Summer School (2011, 2012)

For my work on some of those questions please click publications