The interplay of business and human rights has never been higher up the international agenda.
For instance a recent BBC investigation into a factory in Turkey found Syrian refugee children, employed through a middleman, reportedly making clothes for Marks & Spencer and online retailer Asos.
Both companies say they carefully monitor their supply chains and do not tolerate the exploitation of refugees or children. M&S said all of its suppliers were contractually required to comply with its Global Sourcing Principles.
Ismail Erturk, senior lecturer in banking at Alliance MBS, said the retailers’ general response to the findings of the BBC programme was ignorance in sub-contracting stages in the supply chains.
But he says in an industry like retailing, where huge investments in sophisticated information technology to understand consumer behaviour to generate high returns for shareholders is legendary, it is not “ethically justifiable” to claim ignorance regarding information and data in global supply chains.
“Basically the retailers mentioned on the programme made a choice regarding what they wanted to know and what kind of information systems they want to invest in. In electronics, for example, the competition in supply chains generally involves real-time transparency about all sub-contractors and their costs. There is no reason why such investments in the clothing sector cannot be made,” he said.
Dr Noemi Sinkovics, lecturer in International Business and Management at Alliance MBS, says a more systemic solution is needed that involves collective effort either at sectoral level or at national and/or transnational level to address the issues raised in the BBC documentary. “Major brands need to work together with suppliers, governments and other organisations that are more embedded in local contexts.”
Alliance MBS will be hosting a very timely debate on the role of business in the refugee crisis on November 22 from 5.45pm – 7.50pm.
Our Vital Topics event will be chaired by Professor Ken McPhail, Vice Dean Social Responsibility, and our panel will include leading academics, retailers and humanitarian organisations including:
Michael Posner, Professor of Ethics and Finance and Co-Director, Centre of Business and Human Rights, NYU’s Stern School of Business
Adil Rehman, Programmes Manager, CSR, Next plc
Joe Bardwell, Corporate Accountability & Communications Officer, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Dr Ayman S Jundi, Trustee and General Secretary, Syria Relief
Professor Stephanie Barrientos, Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester
Friday, May 26, 2017
Did you know starting a business is one of the main reasons for studying an MBA? Our Full-time MBA candidates have lots of opportunities to develop their entrepreneurship skills.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Although awareness of mental health issues has greatly increased in recent years, far more still needs to be done to tackle it in the workplace.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Low-cost oil producers will start to question why there are rationing supplies and this will have “huge implications” for the oil market, said Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist at BP. Addressing the annual BP lecture at Alliance MBS, Dale – a former chief economist at the Bank of England – said in no other industry could you have a country such as Saudi Arabia, where it costs just $10 to produce a barrel of oil, operating in the same market as a country like Canada where it costs $30 to $40.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Despite the ‘compelling” business case for having more women on company boards the move towards gender equality in the boardroom has stalled. Our Vital Topics panel debate on ‘Diversity at the top’ heard that there remained a complex and often contradictory array of reasons as to why more women did not hold senior management positions. For instance there are still only seven female CEOs in the FTSE 100 today.
Monday, May 1, 2017
The Financial Times’ new ranking of Top MBAs for Finance sees Alliance Manchester Business School ranked 29th in the world and positioned as 5th in the UK and 10th in Europe.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
One of the world’s leading university ranking groups, QS (Quacquarelli Symonds), has today ranked Alliance Manchester Business School’s Global MBA as 5th in the world.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Charities, businesses and community groups across the world will be able to streamline and improve their response to emergencies and disasters, thanks to a new International Standard initiated at Alliance Manchester Business School.
Monday, April 10, 2017
The opportunities and threats posed by machine learning were debated during a lecture by serial entrepreneur Hermann Hauser at Alliance MBS.