In this article, we explore how a lead firm's strategy for corporate social responsibility influences the social upgrading of a supplier in a global value chain. Based on a single case study approach, we investigate the interaction between Dutch smartphone producer Fairphone and its Chinese supplier Guohong. On the one hand, the case illustrates how a cooperative approach to corporate social responsibility can lead to progress in suppliers' social upgrading. In particular, we highlight the role of a so‐called workers' welfare fund as a mechanism not only for improving measurable labour standards but also for enabling rights. On the other hand, the case demonstrates how the limited production and technological capabilities of the suppliers, a competitive market environment and lead firms' limited strategic access to the supply chain might constrain the extent of social upgrading through a cooperative approach towards corporate social responsibility in a global value chain.
|Journal||Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2019|
- Corporate social responsibility
- Global value chain
- Social upgrading