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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.
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- Staking Cosmopolitan Claims: How Firms and NGOs Talk About Supply Chain Responsibility
Dirk C. Moosmayer
Susannah M. Davis
- Springer Netherlands
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