Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

A Case Study Approach

Edited by Christine A. Mallin

This insightful book provides a comprehensive analysis of the development of CSR in a diverse range of countries including the UK, Italy, Poland, Turkey, the USA, the Middle East, Australia, Japan and Korea. Christine Mallin has brought together leading experts from both academia and the business world to provide fully up-to-date accounts of developments in CSR from a range of legal, cultural and economic perspectives.

Chapter 10: Does the Adoption of Codes of Conduct Marginalize Labor Unions? The Case of Turkey’s Garment Industry

Melsa Ararat and Mahmut Bayazit

Subjects: business and management, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, economics and finance, corporate governance, law - academic, corporate law and governance


Melsa Ararat and Mahmut Bayazıt It is much easier . . . to be benevolent than it is to share power. (Bowen, cited in Selekman, 1958) INTRODUCTION Since the early 1990s, outsourcing labor-intensive production to low-cost countries has become a strategy widely used by transnational retail and branded goods companies in response to competitive pressures, while competition between suppliers has created a downward pressure on already inferior working conditions in those countries. The protection of workers’ rights has meanwhile suffered a setback worldwide with the diminishing power of unions. As a result, the ‘labor problem’ and the issue of social standards at the workplace have taken center stage in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) discourse (see O’Rourke, 2003; Sethi, 2003). Two strategies have been developed in response to public concerns, one being international systems of regulation such as the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions. The second strategy involves the selfregulation of firms across their supply chains through ‘voluntary’ codes of conduct (CoC). These CoC are proposed as instruments of CSR. In this chapter we try to answer the following question: does the adoption of CoC cause the marginalization of the role that unions play in a developing country context? We define marginalization in terms of both decreasing perceived utility of unions as well as scope and depth of issues that they can influence.1 In the first section we provide a background of the roles of unions and CoC. In the second section we present the analytical framework we use for our inquiry....

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