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The Factory Hierarchy in the Village: Recruitment Networks and Labour Control in Kong Pisei District of Cambodia

  • Laura Prota

    ()

    (University of Salerno)

  • Melanie Beresford

    (melanie.beresford@mq.edu.au)

Most analyses of the garment value chain begin at the factory production line. We approach the value chain instead from the perspective of the village community from which workers are recruited. In our Cambodian case study, we show that the factory’s hierarchical relationships are replicated within the village. Using network analysis we find that recruitment networks are largely controlled by factory supervisors and can become a mechanism of control over the labour force. We further show that the factory hierarchy can influence the pattern of capital accumulation and economic change within the village. Our results demonstrate that the value chain cannot be treated as if it ends at the factory floor. Moreover, corporate social responsibility policies, whether state, corporate or buyer-instigated, cannot by themselves eliminate ‘sweatshop’ conditions.

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Article provided by Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya in its journal Institutions and Economies.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 103-122

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Handle: RePEc:umk:journl:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:103-122
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  1. Neil M. Coe & Peter Dicken & Martin Hess, 2008. "Introduction: global production networks—debates and challenges," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 267-269, May.
  2. Khalid Nadvi, 2008. "Global standards, global governance and the organization of global value chains," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 323-343, May.
  3. Gereffi, Gary, 1999. "International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-70, June.
  4. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
  5. Vegard Iversen & Kunal Sen & Arjan Verschoor & Amaresh Dubey, 2009. "Job recruitment networks and migration to cities in India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 09-01, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
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