Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 59, Issue 1–2, pp 155–162 | Cite as

Stopping the Exploitation of Workers: An Analysis of the Effective Application of Consumer or Socio-Political Pressure

  • Gina L. S. Pines
  • David G. Meyer


Commodity chain analysis (Bair and Ramsay, 2003 Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies) is used to explore where economic pressure (from consumers) or socio-political pressure (from governments and NGOs) can be applied to reduce worker exploitation. Six paths are illustrated with examples of successful and unsuccessful application of pressure. Three conclusions are reached :Economic pressure on companies and brand owners is more likely to lead to improved workplace conditions than socio-political pressure; Brand owners are more likely to implement improved workplace conditions than retailers; and Retailers who are under extreme consumer price pressure will resist improving workplace conditions.


brand value commodity chains price pressure successful boycotts unsuccessful boycotts worker exploitation 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gina L. S. Pines
    • 1
  • David G. Meyer
    • 2
  1. 1.Business Strategy and PolicyUniversity of HartfordWest HartfordUSA
  2. 2.Management and OrganizationCentral Connecticut State UniversityNew BritainUSA

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