Complements or Substitutes? Private Codes, State Regulation and the Enforcement of Labour Standards in Global Supply Chains

34 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2013

See all articles by Richard Locke

Richard Locke

Brown University

Ben A. Rissing

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Timea Pal

European University Institute

Date Written: September 2013

Abstract

Recent research on regulation and governance suggests that a mixture of public and private interventions is necessary to improve working conditions and environmental standards within global supply chains. Yet less attention has been directed to how these different forms of regulation interact in practice. The form of these interactions is investigated through a contextualized comparison of suppliers producing for Hewlett‐Packard, one of the world's leading global electronics firms. Using a unique dataset describing Hewlett‐Packard's supplier audits over time, coupled with qualitative fieldwork at a matched pair of suppliers in Mexico and the Czech Republic, this study shows how private and public regulation can interact in different ways — sometimes as complements; other times as substitutes — depending upon both the national contexts and the specific issues being addressed. Results from our analysis show that private interventions do not exist within a vacuum, but rather these efforts to enforce labour and environmental standards are affected by state and non‐governmental actors.

Suggested Citation

Locke, Richard and Rissing, Ben A. and Pal, Timea, Complements or Substitutes? Private Codes, State Regulation and the Enforcement of Labour Standards in Global Supply Chains (September 2013). Across Boundaries: The Global Challenges Facing Workers and Employment Research 50th Anniversary Spe, Vol. 51, Issue 3, pp. 519-552, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2317682 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjir.12003

Richard Locke

Brown University ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States
(401) 863-3596 (Phone)

Ben A. Rissing

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States

Timea Pal

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
1,109
PlumX Metrics