Making A Last Minute Save? Value Chain Struggles, Work Organization, and Outcomes for Labor in the Football Manufacturing Industry of Jalandhar, India

Peter Lund-Thomsen, Navjote Khara

    Research output: Working paperResearch

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    Recent academic writings have emphasized that an increasing proportion of world-wide manufacturing is taking place through extensive subcontracting networks that connect consumers in the United States and Europe with workers laboring in the informal economies of developing countries where they often lack social protection or legal recognition under national labor laws.
    In this article, we make a contribution to this literature by exploring how three different forms of workorganization – factory-based, center-based, and home-based football stitching - came into being in the brand sensitive, export-oriented football manufacturing industry of Jalandhar in North India.
    We argue that the evolution of supply chain linkages and work forms within this industry can best be understood through the ‘prism’ of value chain struggles between the intra-chain actors such as international buyers and local suppliers and the extra-chain actors such as national governments and international NGOs. In particular, struggles over supplier upgrading and labor standards first led to the creation of football stitching as a cottage industry in the latter part of the 20th century and then its re-establishment as industrial factory-based work in the early parts of the new millennium.
    We conclude that shifting preferences of the upstream buyers and the global consumers, somewhat ironically, offer a Hobson’s choice to the Jalandhar football manufacturers: either insource football stitching within factory-based settings, adopt new technologies, and comply with labor laws/standards, or perish in the highly competitive global market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
    PublisherCenter for Corporate Social Responsibility, CBS
    Number of pages50
    ISBN (Print)9788792114242
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2011
    SeriesCSR and Business in Society: CBS Working Paper Series

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