From Suspicion to Sustainability in Global Supply Chains

Texas A&M Law Review, Forthcoming

36 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2020

See all articles by Robert C. Bird

Robert C. Bird

University of Connecticut - School of Business

Vivek Soundararajan

University of Bath

Date Written: January 27, 2020

Abstract

Global supply chains power 80% of world trade, but also host widespread environmental, labor, and human rights abuses in developing countries. Most scholarship focuses on some form of sanction to motivate supply chain members, but we propose that the fundamental problem is not insufficient punishment, but a lack of trust. Fickle tastes, incessant demands for lower prices, and spot market indifference force suppliers into a constant struggle for economic survival. No trust can grow in such an environment, and few sustainability practices can take meaningful root. Responding to multiple calls for scholarship in the supply chain literature, we propose a trust-building process by which supply chains can evolve from indifference and hostility to a relational partnership that produces joint investments in sustainable practices. The result is a supply chain that is more efficient, more humane, and embeds sustainability in the supply chain for the long-term.

Keywords: sustainability, global supply chains, trust, unilateral initiatives

Suggested Citation

Bird, Robert C. and Soundararajan, Vivek, From Suspicion to Sustainability in Global Supply Chains (January 27, 2020). Texas A&M Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3526466

Robert C. Bird (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - School of Business ( email )

368 Fairfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-2041
United States

HOME PAGE: http://businesslaw.business.uconn.edu/robert-bird/

Vivek Soundararajan

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

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