Humanizing Research on Working Conditions in Supply Chains: Building a Path to Decent Work

Vivek Soundararajan, Miriam M. Wilhelm, Andrew Crane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


Research on managing working conditions in the supply chain is currently conducted under the umbrella of “social” sustainability. In this introduction to the 2021 Emerging Discourse Incubator, “Managing Working Conditions in Supply Chains: Towards Decent Work,” we argue that the trajectory of this research may be insufficient for addressing decent work. This is due to four characteristics of the extant literature—buyer-centrism, product-centrism, techno-centrism, and social-centrism. As an alternative, we offer ways to ‘humanize’ research on working conditions in supply chains across four dimensions: actors, issues, contexts, and methods. Through humanization, supply chain research has the potential to make a significant scholarly impact as well as to contribute to the realization of decent work in supply chains. We use our proposed path forward as a lens to elaborate on the core contributions of the four invited papers in the Emerging Discourse Incubator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Supply Chain Management
Issue number2
Early online date22 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Supply Chain Management published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • diversity issues
  • social responsibility
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Marketing


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