Corporate Social Responsibility in Supply Chains of Global Brands: A Boundaryless Responsibility? Clarifications, Exceptions and Implications

21 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2006 Last revised: 2 Jan 2011

See all articles by Kenneth Amaeshi

Kenneth Amaeshi

University of Edinburgh Business School; Cranfield University - School of Management

Onyeka K. Osuji

University of Exeter

Paul Nnodim

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly becoming a popular business concept in developed economies. As typical of other business concepts, it is on its way to globalization through practices and structures of the globalized capitalist world order, typified in Multinational Corporations (MNCs). However, CSR often sits uncomfortably in this capitalist world order, as MNCs are often challenged by the global reach of their supply chains and the possible irresponsible practices inherent along these chains. The possibility of irresponsible practices puts global firms under pressure to protect their brands even if it means assuming responsibilities for the practices of their suppliers. Pressure groups understand this burden on firms and try to take advantage of the situation. This paper seeks to challenge the often taken-for-granted-assumption that firms should be accountable for the practices of their suppliers by espousing the moral (and sometimes legal) underpinnings of the concept of responsibility. Except where corporate control and or corporate grouping exist, it identifies the use of power as a critical factor to be considered in allocating responsibility in firm-supplier relationship; and suggests that the more powerful in this relationship has a responsibility to exert some moral influence on the weaker party. The paper highlights the use of code of conducts, corporate culture, anti-pressure group campaigns, personnel training and value reorientation as possible sources of wielding positive moral influence along supply chains.

Keywords: Responsibility, firm-supplier relationship, purchasing ethics, responsible supply chain management, corporate control and corporate group

JEL Classification: M10, M19, Z00, P10, K00

Suggested Citation

Amaeshi, Kenneth and Osuji, Onyeka K. and Nnodim, Paul, Corporate Social Responsibility in Supply Chains of Global Brands: A Boundaryless Responsibility? Clarifications, Exceptions and Implications (2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=947583 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.947583

Kenneth Amaeshi (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh Business School ( email )

29 Buccleuch Place
Central Area
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/about/people/738/Kenneth/Amaeshi

Cranfield University - School of Management ( email )

Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL
United Kingdom

Onyeka K. Osuji

University of Exeter ( email )

Northcote House
The Queen's Drive
Exeter, Devon EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1392 725268 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/law/staff/osuji/

Paul Nnodim

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts ( email )

United States

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