Building Value at the Top and the Bottom of the Global Supply Chain: MNC-NGO Partnerships

by Paola Perez-Aleman, Marion Sandilands

Fall 2008

Volume 51
Issue 1

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The rise of social movements targeting multinational companies on issues of social and environmental responsibility has generated new global supply chain standards. Tied to the wide range of sustainability standards is the growth of partnerships between multinationals (MNCs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). There is research indicating these standards unintentionally impose conditions that may exclude small-scale firms in developing countries from global supply chains, negatively affecting the poorer groups. This study explores standards and partnerships from the perspective of how to include the poorest developing country producers, from what is known as the “bottom of the pyramid.” This article contributes to the international business strategy discussion by highlighting how standard making and implementation resulting from MNC-NGO alliances can create conditions that foster inclusion and upgrading of small-scale producers in a supply chain. It demonstrates that including poorer producers from developing economies requires an active assistance approach to address the complex challenges to achieve sustainability goals in the supply chain.

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