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Ethical or ‘socially sustainable’ sourcing mechanisms mandating labour standards among the suppliers and subcontractors that organisations source goods and services from are becoming more common. The issue of how labour activist groups such as trade unions can encourage organisations to adopt and strengthen these mechanisms within domestic production networks is largely unexplored. Using three cases of domestic sustainable sourcing campaigns developed by unions in Britain, the strategies used by labour activists, the characteristics of the organisations targeted and the motivations of lead firms for improving sourcing practices are analysed. The article makes a significant contribution by demonstrating that organisational susceptibility to reputational risk is a key factor influencing the capacity of activist groups to convince and compel their targets to improve sourcing practices. It argues that different types of organisations are susceptible to reputational damage in different ways, that risk events provide opportunities for unions to strengthen their leverage against target organisations, and that the multidimensional nature of corporate reputation needs to be better considered for understanding how campaigns are framed and executed.
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- Leveraging Reputational Risk: Sustainable Sourcing Campaigns for Improving Labour Standards in Production Networks
Chris F. Wright
- Springer Netherlands
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