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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Britta Holzberg

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the notion of crossvergence from international human resource management (IHRM) as a conceptual lens for understanding and analyzing the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the notion of crossvergence from international human resource management (IHRM) as a conceptual lens for understanding and analyzing the formation of socially (ir)responsible employment practices in supplier firms in global production networks (GPNs). The crossvergence perspective can particularly contribute to understanding how the agency of suppliers is influenced by the interaction of global–local dynamics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper illustrates how the formation of socially (ir)responsible employment practices can be understood as a process of crossvergence. Subsequently, it reviews and structures insights from GPN and IHRM literature to detail the process.

Findings

The paper underscores the complicated role of suppliers in ensuring decent work in GPNs. Suppliers face a multitude of global and local interacting, and partially conflicting, demands. They process these demands as active agents and need to develop suitable employment practices in response.

Originality/value

The paper supports the nascent discourse on supplier agency in forming socially responsible employment practices. It connects different streams of literature to illuminate the perspective of suppliers, introduces IHRM insights to the debate and offers conceptual guidance for analyzing interacting global and local pressures on suppliers.

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