Global Corporations and the Socially Responsible Supply Chain

Recent horrific garment industry disasters have highlighted the fact that global supply chains are seriously falling short in the area of social responsibility. Andreas Wieland and Robert Handfield have written an important article entitled The Socially Responsible Supply Chain: An Imperative for Global Corporations. Dr. Wieland, in his recent blog post, outlines “three core principles that are essential for ensuring socially responsible business practices and successfully managing the extended global supply chain.” Directly quoted, they are:

  1. a program to audit both products and suppliers needs to be implemented; this program must go beyond direct relationships with tier-one suppliers
  2. visibility is important for those categories of supply that cannot be directly controlled; hereby, electronic and smart technologies promise new opportunities
  3. collaboration is needed to successfully managing a socially responsible supply chain; this includes collaboration across the industry, with local partners, and with universities

Dr. Andreas Wieland is head of the Kuhne Foundation Center for International Logistics Networks, Technische Universitat Berlin and Robert Handfield, Ph.D, is the Bank of America University distinguished professor of supply chain management and co-director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative at the Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University.

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