‘If You Don't like It, Don't Work with Us'. on Situational Position of Textile Suppliers in Turkey.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Deniz SEEBACHER, University of Vienna, Austria
Managing supply chains is one of the major issues in the textile sector. Currently in Turkey big companies try to win back control over their scattered supplier landscape and strategically consolidate their suppliers, in order to work with a few but in close collaboration. As the market is changing fast and production cycles are becoming shorter, close communication and good coordination between various producers and buyers is needed to keep up sales to the end consumers. Supply chain audits are currently typically conducted as Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSR&S) projects, as the topic provides both: links to core business strategies as well as to current social and environmental issues.

This paper draws on data from my ethnographic PhD research in a Turkish holding company operating in the textile sector, where social audits of the suppliers are being conducted since a few years to consolidate all scattered information within the subsidiaries. These audits create relationships between the headquarters and the producers and support a process of centralization in order for the headquarters to gain more control. Such processes often lead to resistance from the subsidiaries. However, using social and the environmental arguments for change makes resistance more difficult to legitimize.

Most of the information about the supply chain is currently found in the CSR&S department, which finds itself in an ambivalent position between global textile market trends of outsourcing to countries in the global south, producing cheaper, delivering faster, and contradicting globally demanded social and sustainable standards. Conducting audits, the CSR&S department is creating seemingly uncontestable spaces (Garsten and Hernes 2009, 429), although global ideas and practices of good business are being questioned. Using situational analysis (Clark 2011), this paper will discuss the position of the suppliers and their strategies to deal with these emerging restrictions and possibilities.