Cover image for Rising above sweatshops : innovative approaches to global labor challenges
Rising above sweatshops : innovative approaches to global labor challenges
Hartman, Laura Pincus.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2003.
Physical Description:
xxiv, 414 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF5549.5.E45 R57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Workers have basic rights that should not be violated, notwithstanding the geographical locale of their work. But those rights often appear to conflict with the economic and commercial needs of both developing nations and multinational enterprises. Creative approaches are necessary if workers' rights are to coexist with commercial success, or even survival. This book introduces the current global labor milieu and showcases innovative solutions via original case studies (e.g., Nike, Levi Strauss), which demonstrate how multinational enterprises can respect worker rights while benefiting from the economic advantages of a global labor market.

Part I provides an overview of global labor challenges from a broad variety of perspectives, including economics, public policy, philosophy, and strategic management. The facts and contention of the new sweatshop school of thought are analyzed, along with industrialization and utilization of labor in developing countries; the application of basic human rights to the circumstances of workers; the unique role of nongovernmental organizations in the debate over global labor practices; and the Total Responsibility Management approach to implementing improved labor practices.

Part II analyzes case studies, based on original field research, of well-known global corporations. The examined programs provide examples of innovative responses by multinational firms, the International Labor Organization, and other NGOs to challenges regarding global labor practices. These cases can help other firms avoid the unhappy dilemma of either exploiting workers and enduring a public relations backlash, or terminating operations in various developing nations. The true solution lies in companies respecting worker rights, while benefiting from the economic advantages of a global labor market.

Author Notes

LAURA P. HARTMAN is Associate Vice President and Professor of Business Ethics, DePaul University.

DENIS G. ARNOLD is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

RICHARD E. WOKUTCH is Pamplin Professor of Management, Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Hartman (business ethics, DePaul Univ.), Wokutch (management, Virginia Tech.), and Arnold (philosophy, Pacific Lutheran Univ.) believe that workers have basic human rights, regardless of geographic locale. Through a multidisciplinary collection of theoretical articles and case studies, the editors address the globalization dilemma of providing inexpensive access to goods and services while not exploiting workers in poor underdeveloped countries. The first part of the book analyzes current global labor challenges from the economics, legal, philosophical, governmental, and strategic management perspective. The second half describes case studies of innovative worker improvement programs in multinational enterprises (MNEs) such as Nike, adidas-Salomon, Levi-Strauss, Dow Chemical, Chiquita Brands International; and in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), such as the Pro-Child Institute and the International Labour Organization. (For example, Nike developed worker initiatives that expanded education, job creation, and loan programs in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.) Other MNE and NGO programs focus on child labor, conservation, safety, security, fairness, and improved working conditions. For an industry-focused analysis of sweatshop globalization, see Ellen Israel Rosen's Making Sweatshops: The Globalization of the U. S. Apparel Industry (CH, Apr'03). ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Faculty, upper-division and graduate students, and business professionals interested in globalization issues. G. E. Kaupins Boise State University

Table of Contents

Dedication List of Illustrations
Foreword A: PractitionerKen Block and Frank Vogl
Foreword B: Academic by NormanE. Bowie Rising
above Sweatshops
An Introduction to the Text and to the IssuesLaura Hartman and Denis G. Arnold and Sandra Waddock
Perspectives on Global Labor Practices and Challenges
The Global Context: Multinational Enterprises, Labor Standards and RegulationsJill Murray
The Economic Context: Grounding Discussions of Economic Change and Labor in Developing CountriesJonathan
London Philosophical Foundations: Moral Reasoning, Human Rights, and Global Labor PracticesDenis G. Arnold
Philosophy Applied I: How Non-Governmental Organizations and Multinational Enterprises Can Work Together to Protect Human RightsMichael A. Santoro
Philosophy Applied II: Total Responsibility Management by Sandra Waddock and Charlie Bodwell Program Studies of Innovation in the Management of Global Labor Challenges Nike Inc
Corporate Social Responsibility and Workplace Standard Initiatives in VietnamLaura Hartman and Richard E. Wokutch and Adidas-Salomon
Child Labor and Health and Safety Initiatives in Vietnam and BrazilLaura Hartman and Richard E. Wokutch and J. Lawrence
French Levi Strauss & Co.: Implementation of Global Sourcing and Operating Guidelines in Latin AmericaTara J. Radin
Dow Chemical Corporation: Responsible Care Program in ThailandRichard E. Wokutch
Pro-Child Institute: Combating Child Labor in the Brazilian Shoe IndustryJ. Lawrence French and Richard E. Wokutch
International Labour Organization: Global Factory Improvement ProgramsCharles Bodwell and Ivanka Mamic
Chiquita Brands International Inc.: Value-Based Management and the Value of Corporate Responsibility in Latin AmericaTara J. Radin
Subject Index