Codes in Context: How States, Markets, and Civil Society Shape Adherence to Global Labor Standards
AbstractCorporate codes of conduct are becoming an increasingly important vehicle for promoting and assessing adherence to global labor standards at factories in global supply chains, but little is known about the factors that predict when supplier factories will comply with them. Regulation and governance scholarship suggests that factories' compliance with global labor standards depends on the institutional environments in which they are embedded. However, there are few systematic, comprehensive studies of how different regulatory institutions influence private firms' compliance with global norms. We conduct one of the first large-scale comparative studies using tens of thousands of codes of conduct audits from one of the world's largest social auditors to determine what constellation of international, domestic, civil society, and market institutions promotes compliance with the global labor standards embodied in codes. We find that supplier factories are more likely to comply when they are embedded in states that have highly protective labor regulation and high levels of press freedom; when they serve buyers located in countries where consumers are wealthy and socially conscious; and, among factories in developing countries, those situated in states with more international labor treaty obligations and greater densities of international nongovernment organizations (INGOs). Taken together, these findings suggest the importance of multiple, robust, overlapping, and reinforcing governance regimes to meaningful transnational regulation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 13-045.
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision: Oct 2013
Transnational regulation; Labor standards; Consumer politics; Codes of conduct; Compliance;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-12-06 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Richard M. Locke & Fei Qin & Alberto Brause, 2007. "Does Monitoring Improve Labor Standards? Lessons from Nike," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(1), pages 3-31, October.
- Michael J. Lenox & Charles E. Eesley, 2009. "Private Environmental Activism and the Selection and Response of Firm Targets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 45-73, 03.
- Bartley Tim, 2010. "Transnational Private Regulation in Practice: The Limits of Forest and Labor Standards Certification in Indonesia," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-36, October.
- David P. Baron, 2003. "Private Politics," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 31-66, 03.
- Chonnikarn Fern Jira & Michael W. Toffel, 2011. "Engaging Supply Chains in Climate Change," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-026, Harvard Business School, revised Oct 2012.
- Dyck, Alexander & Zingales, Luigi, 2002.
"The Corporate Governance Role of the Media,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Michael W. Toffel & Jodi L. Short, 2011. "Coming Clean and Cleaning Up: Does Voluntary Self-Reporting Indicate Effective Self-Policing?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 609 - 649.
- Michael W. Toffel, 2008. "Coerced Confessions: Self-Policing in the Shadow of the Regulator," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 45-71, May.
- Colin Scott, 2010. "Regulatory Governance and the Challenge of Constitutionalism," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 7, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
- Erin Marie Reid & Michael W. Toffel, 2008. "Responding to Public and Private Politics: Corporate Disclosure of Climate Change Strategies," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-019, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2009.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.