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Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2015

Markus Helfen, Elke Schüßler and Sebastian Botzem

Corporate elites are increasingly held responsible for issues of sustainability including working conditions and workers’ rights in global production networks. We still…

Abstract

Corporate elites are increasingly held responsible for issues of sustainability including working conditions and workers’ rights in global production networks. We still know relatively little about how they respond to concrete stakeholder initiatives aiming to restrict corporate voluntarism through transnational regulation. In this paper we report comparative findings on corporate legitimation strategies in response to requests by labor representatives to sign Global Framework Agreements (GFAs). These agreements are intended to hold multinational corporations (MNCs) accountable for the implementation of core labor standards across their supply chains. We propose to broaden management-focused analyses of corporate legitimation strategies by applying a field-oriented perspective that considers the embeddedness of management in a broader web of strategic activity and variable opportunity structures. Our findings suggest that legitimation strategies are developed dynamically along with the rules, positions, and understandings developing around specific regulatory issues in sequences of interactions between elites and challenging groups.

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Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2013

Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez

Purpose – This chapter provides a theoretical and conceptual overview of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It is written as a descriptive document to enhance the…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter provides a theoretical and conceptual overview of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It is written as a descriptive document to enhance the understanding of CSR within the context of international business.Design/methodology/approach – This chapter is built based on an extensive literature review.Findings – This chapter contains six subsections. The first subsection looks at the concept of CSR, and it highlights the possible role of CSR in mitigating the negative consequences of globalisation. The second subsection looks at the evolution of CSR since the 1990s. The third section looks at ethics theories. The fourth section looks at political theories to explain CSR. The fifth section looks at the business case for CSR. And finally the sixth section looks at specific CSR initiatives.Practical implications – This chapter provides a response to the necessity for this analysis that arises from the effects of CSR actions in international business.Originality/value of chapter – This chapter provides a summary of the conceptual and theoretical framework of CSR. It could be used as a teaching tool for undergraduate and masters’ courses on either international business or corporate social responsibility.

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International Business, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-625-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1998

Andrew Erridge Ruth Fee and John McIlroy

Public procurement is one of the principal instruments used by the Commission to open up the European Single Market. This paper presents a critical assessment of public…

Abstract

Public procurement is one of the principal instruments used by the Commission to open up the European Single Market. This paper presents a critical assessment of public procurement policy in the context of developing policies on electronic commerce and the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) within the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The paper focuses on how business can access public procurement opportunities in Europe, and what opportunities exist for improved electronic means of access to information. The proposed future for electronic tendering in Europe, SIMAP, is discussed and compared to similar systems in the USA. The paper suggests that a new legislative framework is required for public procurement and electronic commerce in Europe to ensure that governments and businesses do not suffer a competitive disadvantage in the electronic future of world trade.

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European Business Review, vol. 98 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2018

Obby Phiri, Elisavet Mantzari and Pauline Gleadle

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore the interactions of key stakeholders and their impact upon corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore the interactions of key stakeholders and their impact upon corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in the Zambian copper mining sector. In particular, the authors examine the power dynamics that emerge in the stakeholder interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyse the stakeholder interactions based on the varying degrees of stakeholder salience and critical collaboration potential, and draw on rich evidence from 43 interviews with multiple stakeholders involved in CSR in the Zambia mining sector.

Findings

This paper finds stark power asymmetries in the relationship between the state, the civil society and mining companies which are exacerbated by a number of factors, including divisions within these key stakeholders themselves. Apart from power imbalances within and between stakeholders, the potential for critical collaboration at the local level is further challenged by the lack of commonly accepted social and environmental frameworks, transparency and accountability of the leadership of stakeholder groups. However, despite these power asymmetries some limited agency is possible, as civil society in particular co-opts previously dormant stakeholders to increase its own salience and, more importantly, that of the state.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature on the key stakeholders’ interactions shaping CSR in developing countries by exploring these issues in a critical industry, the Zambian copper mining sector, on which the state economy is so heavily dependent.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 29 September 2021

Lucy Brill

This chapter reviews the literature surrounding the concept of decent work, beginning in 1999 with the International Labour Organization's (ILO's) decision to adopt the…

Abstract

This chapter reviews the literature surrounding the concept of decent work, beginning in 1999 with the International Labour Organization's (ILO's) decision to adopt the term as its primary goal, bringing together ‘four strategic objectives: the promotion of rights at work; employment; social protection; and social dialogue’ (Somavia, 1999, p. 6). Historical perspectives contrast decent work with ‘dignified work’, championed by more radical voices (Spooner & Waterman, 2015; Standing, 2008), but remind us that the organization's capacity to advance a radical agenda has always been constrained by its tripartite nature (Moore, Dannreuther, & Mollmann, 2015). Whilst some have critiqued decent work as lacking methodological precision (Burchell, Sehnbruch, Piasna, & Agloni, 2014), feminist scholars welcome its breadth, arguing that this has made space on the ILO's agenda for the protection of informal forms of employment where women workers are often over-represented (Prugl, 1999; Vosko, 2002). Psychologists argue that the ILO's concept of decent work can be enhanced by a focus on the lived experience of the individual worker, maintaining that the meaning and purpose of work are also important issues to consider. Their critique of the ILO's approach highlights the breadth of the concept and the challenges operationalising it, particularly across very different contexts (Di Fabio & Blustein, 2016). The term decent work also appears in the extensive political economy/international development literature analyzing the expansion of global value chains and their more nuanced re-versioning as global production networks. This body of work highlights the link between decent work (or its absence), the rise of transnational corporations and corresponding hollowing out of labour conditions along global supply chains, leading to increasing flexibilization/precarity as companies seek to maintain competitiveness (See, for example, Gereffi, Humphrey, Kaplinsky, and Sturgeon (2001). The chapter also includes a brief introduction to some of the attempts by the ILO and others to enable more of the world's workforce to access decent work – themes which will be expanded further in later chapters of this book.

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Decent Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-587-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2020

Carla Antonini, Cornelia Beck and Carlos Larrinaga

This paper explores the subpolitical role and main characteristics of a specific accounting technique, sustainability reporting boundaries. Its focus is on how the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the subpolitical role and main characteristics of a specific accounting technique, sustainability reporting boundaries. Its focus is on how the sett2ing of sustainability reporting boundaries affects the definition and distribution of social risks along the supply chain, particularly the risks related to working condition and human rights.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on Beck's (1986) exploration of the ways in which techno-economic spheres offer opportunities for the politicisation of new areas. It is argued that the sphere of sustainability reporting offers that opportunity for the politicisation of supply chains. Using the case of Inditex, the historical context of initiatives relating to the ready-made garment (RMG) industry at global, European and industry level as well as media coverage on the entity are analysed; this is correlated with the analysis of boundary setting in relation to sustainability reports, focusing specifically on working conditions.

Findings

The analysis suggests that accounting technologies that set contested boundaries are subpolitical, that is, defined outside traditional political processes. The paper finds that the way social risks are framed along the supply chain renders them invisible and impersonal and that the framing of these risks becomes endless as they are contested by different groups of experts. Setting sustainability reporting boundaries has subpolitical properties in producing and framing those risks, whilst is simultaneously limited by the inherent politicisation of such an exercise. The questionable legitimacy of sustainability reporting boundaries calls for the construction not only of discursive justifications but also of new possibilities for political participation.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is limited to working conditions along one organisation's supply chain.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is threefold: (1) It studies in-depth how working conditions in global supply chains are portrayed in sustainability reports. (2) It answers the call to study accounting technologies themselves, in this case sustainability reporting boundaries. (3) It extends Beck's work on global ecological dangers to working conditions in global supply chains to explore how sustainability reporting boundaries are subpolitically involved in the definition and distribution of social risks along the supply chain.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2020

Noemi Sinkovics and Jason Archie-acheampong

This study aims to investigate how different academic fields within and outside of international business (IB) engage with the topics of social value creation in the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how different academic fields within and outside of international business (IB) engage with the topics of social value creation in the context of multinational enterprises (MNEs). The aim is to take stock of the main themes and offer suggestions for future research avenues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper undertakes a scoping review. The authors use the Web of Science database to identify relevant articles. The database search yielded 466 articles. The NVivo software was used to code and identify key thematic areas.

Findings

The matrix analysis performed in NVivo yielded 15 main thematic areas spanning 37 research fields. However, further analysis revealed that 89 per cent of the articles originated from 13 fields. Furthermore, while IB journals represent the second-largest field home to publications related to the social value creation of MNEs, they only account for 12 per cent of the sample.

Originality/value

The paper responds to prior calls to reduce disciplinary silos through the performing of a thematic analysis across a multitude of research fields.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Girish Balasubramanian and Santanu Sarkar

The purpose of this paper is to delve into some of the key internal and external factors that led to the choice of specific strategies for union revitalization using the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to delve into some of the key internal and external factors that led to the choice of specific strategies for union revitalization using the theoretical framework built upon framing perspectives, the strategic action field (SAF), and the strategic choice theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a stringent definition and corresponding operationalization of trade union revitalization. The present research has been carried out on a registered industrial union within the context of Global South, specifically in India.

Findings

Evidence was found for the trade union adopting a mix of strategies for revitalization, namely, union organizing, social movement unionism, and union restructuring. A mix of both internal and external factors identified informed the choice of revitalization strategies.

Research limitations/implications

Specific limitations include the subjectivity of the inference in spite of taking due precautions, and lack of generalizability of the findings based on a single case study.

Practical implications

A strong identity, coupled with structural vitality and optimum use of resources enables trade unions to frame the need of a strategy for revival in order to counter the strategic action of employers resulting in union revitalization.

Originality/value

The theoretical novelty of this research stems from the amalgamation of collective action frames, SAF, and strategic choice framework to understand the union revitalization in the context of Global South.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2020

V.G. Venkatesh, Abraham Zhang, Eric Deakins and Venkatesh Mani

Tragic incidents such as the Rana Plaza building collapse call into question the value and effectiveness of supplier codes of conduct (SCC) used in multi-tier supply…

Abstract

Purpose

Tragic incidents such as the Rana Plaza building collapse call into question the value and effectiveness of supplier codes of conduct (SCC) used in multi-tier supply chains. This paper aims to investigate the barriers to sub-supplier compliance and the drivers from the perspective of suppliers that adopt a double agency role by complying with buyer-imposed SCC while managing sub-supplier compliance on behalf of the buyer.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopts a sequential, mixed-methods approach. The qualitative phase develops a conceptual model with the aid of the extant the literature and semi-structured interviews with 24 senior manufacturing professionals. The quantitative phase then uses a hierarchical regression analysis to test the conceptual model using survey data from 159 apparel suppliers based in India.

Findings

The findings reveal that sub-supplier compliance is positively impacted by effective buyer–supplier governance and by the focal supplier having a strategic partnership with the sub-supplier. Conversely, price pressure on sub-suppliers adversely impacts their compliance, while institutional pressure on them to comply is generally ineffective.

Research limitations/implications

The context of the study is limited to the garment industry in India.

Practical implications

To improve SCC compliance rates, buyers and focal suppliers should actively develop strategic partnerships with selected upstream supply chain actors; should set a reasonable price across the supply chain; and, should include specific sub-supplier compliance requirements within the supply contract. The findings also suggest the need to develop social sustainability protocols that are cognisant of regional contexts.

Originality/value

The absence of prior research on SCC implementation by sub-suppliers, this study represents a pioneering empirical study into such multi-tier sourcing arrangements. It provides strong support that sub-supplier governance arrangements differ from those typically found in the focal supplier layer. It also provides empirical evidence of the critical factors that encourage sub-supplier compliance within the apparel industry of a regionally developing economy.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2019

Abstract

Details

Peace, Reconciliation and Social Justice Leadership in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-193-8

1 – 10 of over 35000