IACMR Research Seminar Series Session #23
Topic: Assessing the Social Impact of Corporations: Evidence from Management Control Interventions in the Supply Chain to Increase Worker Wages
Speaker: Greg Distelhorst , University of Toronto
When: 9:00-10:15am, April 20, 2022 (China Time, UTC+8)
Registration link: https://www.xcdsystem.com/iacmr/forms/index.cfm?ID=7gJBS4b
Do corporate social responsibility programs in global supply chains produce measurable social impacts? This study examines an attempt by a large multinational garment retailer to increase wages at its suppliers’ factories via management control interventions focusing on worker-management dialogue around wage issues and changing remuneration structures. Difference-in-differences estimates based on eight years of data from over 1,800 factories in nine developing countries show that the interventions were associated with an average wage increase of approximately 5 percent over the three years following their implementation. The wage gains were many times greater than simply transferring the financial resources invested by the buyer directly to affected workers. Further analyses shed light on contextual factors associated with the effectiveness of the wage interventions, including the presence of trade unions and assessments of supplier quality. These findings have implications for the design of management control interventions for social impact in global supply chains.
Greg Distelhorst is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, appointed at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources and the Rotman School of Management. His research focuses on multinational business, the social impact of corporations, and worker rights, as well as politics and policy in contemporary China. It appears in peer-reviewed social science journals including the American Journal of Political Science, Management Science, Organization Science, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, The Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Political Studies, and the Quarterly Journal of Political Science. He was previously a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. He holds a BA in Cognitive Science from Yale University and a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.