The Market for social compliance audits in Bangladesh: On the edge of a paradigm shift?

AKM Masum Ul Alam, Wanja Öhler, Julie Bundgaard, Mahmud Faruquee, Jan Vang, Peter Hasle

Research output: Book/reportReportResearch

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The report documents that most stakeholders find the status concerning social audits inadequate and not delivering the expected value considering the costs and resources used. This implies that social audits are not considered solving the problems they are presumed to solve. With an estimated market size of US$ 20 mill per year, this is a substantial cost incurred by the suppliers and buyers, which could be used for improving occupational safety and health (OSH) and working conditions. The report argues that the challenges associated with social auditing practices reflect the co-existence of a multiplicity of different private codes of conduct and audit standards, all rooted in ILO’s eight core conventions. In practice, this means that each global brand has its code of conduct, which they audit according to. Thereby, they spend both their own and the suppliers’ time and resources. This led to a prevalence of auditing fatigue among the global suppliers and a general lack of legitimacy of established standards. The consequence may be that both global buyers and suppliers are motivated to experiment with new standards. Yet, there are also factors maintaining the current status quo, e.g., satisfying behaviour tendencies of change-fatigue among global buyers. 
Translated title of the contributionMarkedet for sociale audits i Bangladesh: På vej til et paradigme skifte?
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBangladesh University of Health Sciences
Number of pages71
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-94233-63-7
Publication statusPublished - 1. Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

This report is funded by grant no. 19-M01-SDU awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark


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