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Accounting for the gaps in labour standard compliance: the role of reputation-conscious buyers in the Cambodian garment industry

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Working conditions in global supply chains have come under increased public scrutiny. Faced with this growing demand for accountability, some multinational enterprises have come to play regulatory roles in developing countries where they do business. This article combines quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the effects of reputation-conscious buyers on supplier labour standard compliance in the Cambodian garment sector. Using unique factory-level panel data, this article shows that factories producing for reputation-conscious buyers are associated with better compliance levels than other factories, controlling for factory characteristics. Field-based interviews also demonstrate that reputation-conscious buyers regulate supplier compliance both ‘reactively’ and ‘proactively.’ The findings shed light on the opportunities and limits of buyer-driven regulation.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/35193/

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