LaborVoices: Bringing Transparency to the Global Supply Chain
Roman, Ronald M.;Lawrence, Anne T.;Amin, Chirag
North American Case Research Association (NACRA)
Social entrepreneur Kohl Gill founded LaborVoices in 2010 with the goal of using mobile phone technology to bring transparency to the global supply chain. Gill's vision was to build a company that would allow workers in supplier factories for major brand companies-initially in Bangalore, India, and later in other locations-to use their mobile phones to report and share information about factory conditions. This information could potentially be useful to a variety of groups: the workers themselves, nongovernmental organizations and unions that sought to improve working conditions in the global supply chain, factory managers who wished to attract and retain high-quality workers, monitoring and auditing organizations that wished to improve their information sources, and international brand companies that sought to assure compliance with their codes of conduct and to protect against reputational risk. The case describes the experiences and thought processes that led to Gill's business concept. It also provides information on labor conditions and supply chain dynamics in the textile and garment industry in southern India. At the end of the case, Gill is reviewing various business models and considering how to launch his social enterprise successfully.
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