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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1978908
 
 

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Production Goes Global, Compliance Stays Local: Private Regulation in the Global Electronics Industry


Greg Distelhorst


University of Oxford - Said Business School

Richard M. Locke


Brown University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science

Timea Pal


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science

Hiram M. Samel


Said Business School, University of Oxford

April 28, 2015

MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-1
Watson Institute for International Studies Research Paper No. 2014-13

Abstract:     
Concerns about poor working conditions in global supply chains have led to private initiatives that seek to regulate labor practices in developing countries. But how effective are these regulatory programs? We investigate the effects of transnational private regulation by studying Hewlett Packard’s (HP) supplier responsibility program. Using analysis of factory audit records, interviews with buyer and supplier management, and field research at production facilities across seven countries, we find that national context — not repeated audits, capability building, or supply chain power — is the most important predictor of workplace compliance. We then use field research to identify two local institutions that complement transnational private regulation: domestic regulatory authorities and civil society organizations. Although these findings imply limits to private regulation in institutionally poor settings, they also highlight opportunities for productive linkages between transnational actors and local state and society.

Keywords: Transnational governance, globalization, labor standards, private regulation, corporate social responsibility


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Date posted: January 3, 2012 ; Last revised: April 28, 2015

Suggested Citation

Distelhorst, Greg and Locke, Richard M. and Pal, Timea and Samel, Hiram M., Production Goes Global, Compliance Stays Local: Private Regulation in the Global Electronics Industry (April 28, 2015). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-1; Watson Institute for International Studies Research Paper No. 2014-13. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1978908 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1978908

Contact Information

Greg Distelhorst (Contact Author)
University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )
Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain
HOME PAGE: http://www.gregdistelhorst.com

Richard M. Locke
Brown University ( email )
111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States
(401) 863-3596 (Phone)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science ( email )
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
Timea Pal
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science ( email )
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Hiram M. Samel
Said Business School, University of Oxford ( email )
HOME PAGE: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/community/people/hiram-samel
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