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Providing key managerial insights from research on assessing and improving working conditions in supply chains.

Most Recent Insights

Labor worker producing clothes in garment factory. (Shutterstock)

Working Conditions and Factory Survival: Evidence from Better Factories Cambodia

February 2021
By: Raymond Robertson, Drusilla Brown, Rajeev Dehejia

This study finds no evidence that improving compensation and health & safety heightens risk of plant closure – and that improving compensation may actually increase plant survival.

Workers at a garment factory. (Shutterstock)

Can Brands Claim Ignorance? Unauthorized Subcontracting in Apparel Supply Chains

By: Felipe Caro, Leonard Lane, Anna Saez de Tejada Cuenca

Unauthorized subcontracting in apparel factories occurs more frequently when previous orders were subcontracted, buyers exert pricing pressure, a brand is not well known, and lead times are longer.

Young labors protesting, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Shutterstock)

Buyer Engagement and Labour Conditions in Global Supply Chains: The Bangladesh Accord and Beyond

September 2020
By: Chikako Oka, Niklas Egels-Zanden, Rachel Alexander

Buyers monitor and try to improve their suppliers’ labor standards via auditing, capacity building, and government advocacy. What are the tradeoffs - and how can each method be deployed more effectively?

Very old brick wall with flag of Lesotho. (Shutterstock)

Voice in Supply Chains: Does the Better Work Program Lead to Improvements in Labor Standards Compliance?

August 2020
By: Kelly Pike

Strengthening worker voice and incorporating worker feedback into supplier remediation plans led to improvements in other labor standard compliance areas including worker safety, wage practices, and training programs.

Labor worker producing clothes in garment factory. (Shutterstock)

Lights On: How Transparency Increases Compliance in Cambodian Global Value Chains

August 2020
By: Raymond Robertson

Making factories’ audit results publicly available in Cambodia increased compliance with some aspects of labor standards including emergency preparedness and paying bonus compensation.

Image of garment factory worker. (Shutterstock)

Improving Working Conditions in Global Supply Chains: The Role of Institutional Environments and Monitoring Program Design

August 2020
By: Jodi Short, Michael W. Toffel, Andrea R. Hugill

Suppliers improve working conditions more after pre-announced audits conducted by highly-trained auditors, and when they—or their buyers —face greater exposé risk for problematic supply chain working conditions.


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