Faculty To Publish Teaching Case on Labor Rights in Global Supply Chains

By Eric Foster
Dr. Christian Grandzol, Dr. Jet Mboga, and Dr. Lam Nguyen
Dr. Christian Grandzol, Dr. Jet Mboga, and Dr. Lam Nguyen

Three faculty in BU’s Department of Management and International Business, Dr. Christian Grandzol, Dr. Lam Nguyen, and Dr. Jet Mboga, have written a teaching case and instructor’s manual that will be published in an upcoming issue of Southeast Case Research Journal.

The case, “Caught in the Corporate Social Responsibility cul-de-sac: LaborVoices seeks a path forward for supply chain labor rights transparency” investigates ways companies ensure ethical labor practices along their extended supply chains and describes how labor rights violations continue apace despite decades of efforts to eliminate them. The team engaged with Kohl Gill, founder of LaborVoices, an organization that attempted to bring transparency to labor rights via worker-sourced data that companies could use to inform their sourcing and supplier development practices. LaborVoices ultimately delivered studies in twelve countries for leading brands, uncovered instances of abuse such as human trafficking in Bangladeshi apparel factories and refugees in Turkish sweatshops, launched a dashboard to track issues such as child labor and fire safety, and published industry-wide benchmarks that ranked factories on metrics of ethical labor practices. 

“This teaching case contributes important knowledge about labor rights in supply chains and the realities of corporate social responsibility programs,” says Grandzol. “Faculty, our students, and the broader academic community will benefit from this unique case. As an interdisciplinary team, we infused perspectives of supply chain management, business ethics, strategic management, and international business into the case and manual, making it an extremely valuable contribution to the Zeigler College of Business portfolio.”

Faculty efforts on this case were supported by the Nicholas J. Giuffre Center for Supply Chain Management’s Teaching Case Initiative. The Southeast Case Research Journal is a Peer-Reviewed Publication of the Southeast Case Research Association that was first published in 2004.