Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1978908
 
 

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


Greg Distelhorst


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Richard M. Locke


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

Timea Pal


European University Institute

Hiram M. Samel


Said Business School, University of Oxford

June 8, 2015

Regulation & Governance. 9(3): 224-242.
MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-1
Watson Institute for International Studies Research Paper No. 2014-13

Abstract:     
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 audits, 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 key predictor of workplace compliance. Quantitative analysis shows that factories in China are markedly less compliant than those in countries with stronger civil society and regulatory institutions. Comparative field research then illustrates how these local institutions complement transnational private regulation. 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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

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


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Date posted: January 3, 2012 ; Last revised: September 7, 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 (June 8, 2015). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-1; Regulation & Governance. 9(3): 224-242.; 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)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )
77 Massachusetts Ave.
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
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
European University Institute ( email )
Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy
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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