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Travelling with a code of ethics: a contextual study of a Swedish MNC auditing a Chinese supplier
Örebro University, Orebro University School of Business, Örebro University, Sweden. (Ceroc)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0708-509X
Umeå School of Business, Umeå University, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 107, 41-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Corporate codes of ethics are integrated into supplier-auditing processes in the hope of ensuring sustainability throughout the supply chain. But little is known about what actually happens when one standardized code of ethics is disseminated and applied in audits on suppliers across the globe. This study builds on the literature on the 'translation of management ideas' and examines what happens when a corporate code of ethics travels in a global context. The specific case reports on a Swedish Multinational Corporation (MNC) with a standardized code of ethics applied in the practice of auditing a supplier in Eastern China. The study shows that the code can be translated in different ways in different organizational and geographical contexts. Observations of and interviews about how the code is translated in practice indicate that the code's ethics are negotiable. It is argued that sustainability and ethics are in danger of being negotiated or completely undermined when efficiency and contractual agreements set the agenda for audits, and that the relative buyer–supplier power relation can play a vital role in setting standards and demanding supplier compliance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2015. Vol. 107, 41-53 p.
Keyword [en]
corporate codes of ethics, context, globalization, supply chain management, translation, travel of ideas
National Category
Business Administration Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Business Studies; Enviromental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-37436DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.08.056ISI: 000363071000005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84942984405OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-37436DiVA: diva2:752093
Available from: 2014-10-02 Created: 2014-10-02 Last updated: 2015-11-17Bibliographically approved

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Helin, Sven
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Orebro University School of Business, Örebro University, Sweden
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf