Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Toy Industry’s Supply Chain: an Empirical Study of Walmart Supplier Factories in China

In: Factory Politics in the People's Republic of China

Abstract

Since the 1990s, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has faced growing public criticism for using sweatshop labor in its supply chains. In 1992, when corporate social responsibility practices centering on adoption and implementation of codes of conduct regarding labor standards were gaining steam, Walmart also adopted its own codes of conduct, “Standards for Suppliers,” requiring its overseas suppliers to comply with certain minimum labor standards. Based on empirical studies at three of Walmart’s toy supplier factories located in Shenzhen, this paper examines the dynamics and effectiveness of Walmart codes on workplace labor standards.