With the rise in global subcontracting in the apparel industry, governments and perhaps the global enterprise itself is finding it difficult to control and monitor the actions of apparel subcontractors operating in multiple countries. The global enterprises in the apparel industry subcontract with hundreds of factories in over thirty nations.
We will focus on the following producers, and their monitors, and global subcontractors.
When the public spotlight or a corporate sponsored monitoring agent (i.e. auditor, consulting firm, corporate personnel) points out problems in one of thousands of such factories, the subcontract is canceled or the problems gets cleaned up by corporate and subcontractor on on occasion government intervention. However, this does not prevent a subcontractor from continuing business as usual in unknown locations or opening new locations where problem practices continue until the next monitoring study or media expose. The purpose of this research proposal to bring basic and rigorous academic research and theory and academic dialogue to bear on two problems:
(1) How to move from forms of "extreme" Taylorism to what we will call French Taylorism in a series of experiments in wage systems and working conditions.
(2) How to reliably and validly monitor transnational corporate behavior in the apparel industry (with or without government)?
The starting assumption is that it is time to bring together an international group of scholars who have relevant and established expertise to conduct basic research and develop action research experiments that yield positive and measurable results. Next we elaborate on the two basic questions.
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