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Tracing sustainable supply chains

Codes of conduct have been a hot topic for a while, but the issue is debatable in working life as well as in research. Trading firms use codes of conduct in order to improve the conditions for those working with suppliers in various producing countries.

In some of the countries that produce goods for Swedish retail companies the working conditions are substandard. Many of the Swedish companies try to remedy this by implementing codes of conduct that regulate the working conditions of the supplier companies.

Within the research project "Tracing Sustainable Supply Chains", the researchers have made interviews with workers and factory visits in Indonesia and China as well as document studies and interviews with Swedish retail companies..

The purpose of the study was to provide knowledge that can improve the efficiency of retail businesses and other stakeholders work with codes of conduct. The study had three main research questions:

  • For which suppliers do retail firms take responsibility for?
  • Do the working conditions at suppliers correspond with the codes of conduct of the retailing firm?
  • Do codes of conduct lead to better working conditions?

Project report in Swedish only (opens in new window)

Ola Bergström, professor business administration
Niklas Egels-Zandén, associate professor business administration

Funded by the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council


Publications in English:

Do Codes of Conduct Improve Worker Rights in Supply Chains? A Study of Fair Wear Foundation. Egels-Zandén, N. and H. Lindholm (2014). Journal of Cleaner Production.

Private Regulation and Trade Union Rights: Why Codes of Conduct Have Limited Impact on Trade Union Rights. Egels-Zandén N. och Merk J. (2013). Journal of Business Ethics.. Volume 123, Issue 3, pp 461-473.

Revisiting Suppliers’ Compliance with MNCs’ Codes of Conduct: Recoupling of Policy and Practice at Chinese Toy Suppliers. Egels-Zandén, N. (2013). Journal of Business Ethics.. Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 59-75.

From Global Consumer Power to Local Worker Power. Egels-Zandén N. (2013). I Reuter M., Wijkström F. och Uggla B.K. (red.) Trust and Organization: Confidence Across Borders, Palgrave Macmillan.

Learning to Improve or Deceive? Chinese Suppliers’ Responses to MNCs’ Codes of Conduct. Egels-Zandén N. (2012). I Lindgreen A., Sen S., Maon F. och Vanhamme J. (red.). Sustainable Value Chain Management: Analyzing, Designing, Implementing, and Monitoring for Social and Environmental Responsibility. Gower Publishing.



Page Manager: Malin Tengblad|Last update: 8/6/2015

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