Impacts of Corporate Code of Conduct on Labor Standards: A Case Study of Reebok's Athletic Footwear Supplier Factory in China (Xiaomin Yu, 2008)

This study examines the social impact of labour-related corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies or corporate codes of conduct on upholding labour standards through a case study of CSR discourse and codes implementation by Reebok, a leading branded company making athletic footwear in a factory in Southern China.

The study finds that the effectiveness of the codes is constrained not only by unsolved tension between Reebok’s impetus for profit maximization and commitment to workers’ human rights, but also by competition in the marketplace, and by the Chinese government’s insufficient protection of labour rights.

The author suggests that effectiveness could be improved by sharing the cost of improved labour standards among key players in the global supply chain; and by combining the regulatory power of voluntary codes and compulsory state legislation.

Further information


Regions / countries / territories

Asia: China - Taiwan Province

Global issues

Labour conditions

Goods categories

Apparel & fashion

Business sectors