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Staking Cosmopolitan Claims: How Firms and NGOs Talk About Supply Chain Responsibility

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  • Dirk C. Moosmayer

    () (Nottingham University Business School China)

  • Susannah M. Davis

    () (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)

Abstract

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) increasingly hold firms responsible for harm caused in their supply chains. In this paper, we explore how firms and NGOs talk about cosmopolitan claims regarding supply chain responsibility (SCR). We investigate the language used by Apple and a group of Chinese NGOs as well as Adidas and the international NGO Greenpeace about the firms’ environmental responsibilities in their supply chains. We apply electronic text analytic methods to firm and NGO reports totaling over 155,000 words. We identify different conceptualizations of cosmopolitanism in this discourse: a legalistic approach to cosmopolitanism for Apple and a group of Chinese NGOs and a moralistic approach for Adidas and Greenpeace. We argue that these differences connect to the roles that the firms are expected and perhaps willing to take in SCR: legalistic discourse connects to a governmental function of rule development and enforcement; in contrast, moralistic discourse connects to a citizenship function that focuses on doing good to the global community. We discuss implications for companies’ non-market strategies and future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk C. Moosmayer & Susannah M. Davis, 2016. "Staking Cosmopolitan Claims: How Firms and NGOs Talk About Supply Chain Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 403-417, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:135:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-014-2456-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2456-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Silviya Dimitrova, 2017. "Ethical Issues in Multinational Companies' Business," Izvestia Journal of the Union of Scientists - Varna. Economic Sciences Series, Union of Scientists - Varna, Economic Sciences Section, issue 1, pages 224-236, November.
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    3. Anne-Kathrin Weber & Lena Partzsch, 2018. "Barking Up the Right Tree? NGOs and Corporate Power for Deforestation-Free Supply Chains," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-18, October.
    4. Fatao Wang & Lihui Ding & Hongxin Yu & Yuanjun Zhao, 2020. "Big data analytics on enterprise credit risk evaluation of e-Business platform," Information Systems and e-Business Management, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 311-350, September.
    5. Alessandro Brun & Hakan Karaosman & Teodosio Barresi, 2020. "Supply Chain Collaboration for Transparency," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(11), pages 1-21, May.
    6. Dirk C. Moosmayer & Yanyan Chen & Susannah M. Davis, 2019. "Deeds Not Words: A Cosmopolitan Perspective on the Influences of Corporate Sustainability and NGO Engagement on the Adoption of Sustainable Products in China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 135-154, August.
    7. Yanyan Chen & Dirk C. Moosmayer, 2020. "When Guilt is Not Enough: Interdependent Self-Construal as Moderator of the Relationship Between Guilt and Ethical Consumption in a Confucian Context," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 551-572, January.

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