Reach and Depth of Responsible Production: Towards a Research Agenda
Introduction Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a hot topic for both business managers and development professionals. Business managers and a small army of consultants are busy developing and implementing a multitude of standards and codes of conduct to convince consumers and civil society organizations (CSOs) of their companies’ responsible behaviour. This responsibility is usually operationalized in terms of respecting and enhancing labour and environmental standards in the production processes of their suppliers in developing countries. This chapter raises two basic questions in order to begin assessing the development relevance of responsible production. First, how likely is it that responsible production becomes increasingly mainstreamed? Second, to what extent can we expect the ‘tool’ of responsible production to enhance developmental outcomes? In other words, these questions explore the quantitative (reach) and qualitative (depth) importance of responsible production for development.