Research news and posts
The realities of global production are often in conflict with establishing responsibility and accountability of transnational businesses. This holds especially for work and employment, because labour is relatively immobile in comparison with capital, leading to a globalization – driven by large multinational firms, free trade agreements, and national austerity policies – which has put workersContinue reading “#16_Union networks in global production: Reclaiming lost territory in supply chains?”
In explaining the steep fall in production during the Covid19 pandemic, many observers have emphasized that it may just be too complex for large corporations to handle their global production operations, simply because of the sheer size of their supply chains. Today’s supply chains encompass a diverse set of subsidiaries, business partners, alliances and jointContinue reading “#15_It’s all too complex – or is it? Global production networks and value chains revisited”
While for many people the experience of moving across borders is beneficial for personal development, inter-cultural learning, innovation and similar positive things, not all of these movements happen to be voluntary; and not everybody weighs the social, cultural, and economic opportunities of cross-border movements in the same way against their possible costs and burdens. Especially,Continue reading “#14_Between a rock and a hard place: Labour migration and workers’ rights”
Apart from the Covid19 pandemic, the climate crisis is the single most important issue these days receiving public attention almost anywhere on the planet. Protests against how the climate crisis has been handled so far are many, and obviously, the protesters are not just going away; especially, not in a pandemic sharing so many characteristicsContinue reading “#13_Climate crisis and labour standards: How better work works for survival…”
Non-governmental organizations (NGO) figure prominently in almost all debates around labour standards these days. This has not been always the case and may already be indicative of a shift towards private governance in many areas concerning the enforcement of labour standards more broadly. However, there are various types of NGOs with profound differences raising doubtsContinue reading “#12_Labour standards and NGOs: Civil society’s watchdogs or corporate puppets?”
How does management engage with upholding labour standards and workers’ rights? For some, this is even a murky question: Isn’t it management and corporate interests which is causing all the troubles around labour standard violations in a short-sighted quest for economic gain and profit? And isn’t it the responsibility of states (pushed by unions, andContinue reading “#11_Managing labour standards? Reporting, auditing and certifying”
For some this question may be a provocation already: Why and how could one think about quantifying human rights? And what sense does it make to measure the avoidance of severe violations of these rights in numbers? Even more so, if one thinks global capitalism’s tendency to permeate and subjugate all spheres of social lifeContinue reading “#10_How do labour standards pay – and for whom?”
Most recently, lawmaking initiatives for a new European Union directive on mandatory due diligence in the supply chain have gained some prominence in the media and press. The proponents of this new regulation suggest combating the organized irresponsibility in transnational business operations as far as labour standards violations are concerned. In short, multinational corporations shouldContinue reading “#9_From supply chain transparency to mandatory due diligence: The struggle is just beginning…”
Across the social sciences, the digital economy gets widespread attention for understanding the social organization of work in the present, and even more so in the future. Most of the debate is driven by projections based on the potentialities of the newest generation of information and communication technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learningContinue reading “#8_Digital labour inspection: Just a fancy or a real innovation?”
Global labour standards protect, empower, and promote those who work in the workplace and beyond. Engaging with why and how global labour standards are created and enforced requires a proper understanding of what they are. This, however, is a much more difficult question to answer than expected at first sight and usually not answered byContinue reading “#7_What are (global) labour standards?”
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