Business-to-business conflicts and environmental governance in global supply chains

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The ways in which conflicts, especially business-to-business conflicts, can contribute to positive environmental practices in global supply chains is underexplored. Drawing on an ethnographic study in South India, we explore the pollution of the Noyyal River by textile dyeing factories and the key role that the conflict between mutually dependent garment exporters and dyers at the bottom of the supply chain played in its gradual recovery. Our data show that the conflict contributed to better environmental practices by a) creating an opportunity space for external intervention b) strengthening state and private investments and innovations aimed at improving environmental practices; and c) establishing bottom-up accountability and compliance. Our data also show that a) external industrial shock, b) vulnerability of business actors to various factors, c) mutual dependence, and d) institutions to overcome collective action problems enabled the conflict’s contribution to improvements in environmental practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalAcademy of Management Best Paper Proceedings
Issue number1
Early online date1 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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