From Employment Relations to Consumption Relations: Balancing Labor Governance in Global Supply Chains
Human Resource Management, Forthcoming
45 Pages Posted: 12 May 2013
Date Written: May 11, 2013
Global supply chains are part of the corporate strategy of many multinational companies, with often adverse effects on labor conditions. While employment relations scholars focus on a production-oriented paradigm, revolving around interactions between employers, workers, and government, much of the activism motivating the development of private labor standards is based around companies’ relations with their consumers. This paper proposes an analytical framework conceptualizing the interface of employment relations and consumption relations within global supply chains, identifying four regimes of labor governance: governance gaps, collective bargaining, standards markets, and complementary regimes. Finally, we suggest a research agenda for examining the role of consumption relations in the changing nature of global labor governance.
Keywords: consumer, employment relations, global supply chains, labor governance, private regulation, transnational governance
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