Humanizing Research on Working Conditions in Supply Chains: Building a Path to Decent Work

Vivek Soundararajan*, Miriam M. Wilhelm, Andrew Crane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

3 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Research on managing working conditions in the supply chain is currently conducted under the umbrella of "social" sustainability. In this introduction to the 2021 Emerging Discourse Incubator, "Managing Working Conditions in Supply Chains: Towards Decent Work," we argue that the trajectory of this research may be insufficient for addressing decent work. This is due to four characteristics of the extant literature-buyer-centrism, product-centrism, techno-centrism, and social-centrism. As an alternative, we offer ways to 'humanize' research on working conditions in supply chains across four dimensions: actors, issues, contexts, and methods. Through humanization, supply chain research has the potential to make a significant scholarly impact as well as to contribute to the realization of decent work in supply chains. We use our proposed path forward as a lens to elaborate on the core contributions of the four invited papers in the Emerging Discourse Incubator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of supply chain management
Issue number2
Early online date1-Feb-2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2021


  • sustainability
  • social responsibility
  • diversity issues

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