Class X: Organizing Resilient and Responsible Global Supply Chains

Provided by Elke Schüßler, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Guiding questions: Why are corporate responsibility concerns particularly prevalent in global supply chains? How can global supply chains be made more responsible and, at the same time, resilient to crisis and conflict?



Core readings

Gereffi, G. (2014). Global value chains in a post-Washington Consensus world. Review of International Political Economy, 21(1), 9-37. PDF

Helfen, M., Schüßler, E., & Sydow, J. (2018). How can employment relations in global value networks be managed towards social responsibility? Human Relations, 71(12), 1640-1665. PDF

Contemporary news articles

Harvey, F. (2022). Ukraine invasion may lead to worldwide food crisis, warns UN. The Guardian, March 14.

Simchi-Levi, D. & Haren, P. (2022). How the war in Ukraine Is further disrupting global supply chains. Harvard Business Review, March 17.

Post-lecture assignment

Pick a lead firm of your choice and analyze its response to the Russian invasion in Ukraine based on the Business & Human Rights Resource Center’s information. Doing further desk research, try to answer the following questions: What are the firm’s main supply chains? How – referring to which principles – does it justify its response? Which network management practices could it use to make its supply chain(s) more resilient and responsible (see also the interview with Dorothée Baumann-Pauly in this regard)? How does it relate to different stakeholders, including the state? (500 words)

Background readings

Gereffi, G., Posthuma, A. C., & Rossi, A. (2021). Introduction: Disruptions in global value chains–Continuity or change for labour governance? International Labour Review, 160(4), 501-517. PDF

Gereffi, G., Pananond, P., & Pedersen, T. (2022). Resilience decoded: The role of firms, global value chains, and the state in COVID-19 medical supplies. California Management Review, in print. PDF

Background videos

Elke Schüßler, Johannes Kepler University Linz talks with Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights, University of Geneva 

Wang, K. (2021). We decoded the global shipping crisis and supply chain backlog that’s causing the ‘everything shortage’. Business Insider, December 1. 

TedX Talk on “Responsible consumption — the soft power of story telling” by Guido Palazzo

Background sources

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

FAU Human Rights Podcast