Bringing the Social Context Back In: Governance and Wealth Distribution in Global Commodity Chains

Publication Type: 
Journal Name: 
Volume: 
37
Number: 
3
Page Numbers: 
393-419
Month/Season: 
Published On: 
2008

This paper addresses recent changes in governance patterns that significantly altered power relations and wealth distribution in global commodity chains. First, it emphasizes the rise of a financial sphere made up of institutional investors and executives of large corporations at the top of GCCs, and discusses the consequences of this for supplier relations and working conditions of women workers at the base of GCCs. Second, by linking recent governance debates at the level of the firm to issues of governance of the whole chain, it identifies three distinct normative views (shareholder, stakeholder and institutional) of the ways in which the distribution of social welfare can be improved in GCCs. Beyond the shareholder and stakeholder views, a call is made for strengthening an institutional view of GCC governance.