A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

The role of psychological distance in organizational responses to modern slavery risk in supply chains

Open Access hybrid publication

Publication Details

Authors: Simpson Dayna, Segrave Marie, Quarshie Anne, Kach Andrew, Handfield Robert, Panas George, Moore Heather

Publisher: Elsevier: 24 months

Publication year: 2021

Language: English

Related journal or series: Journal of Operations Management

ISSN: 0272-6963

JUFO level of this publication: 3

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joom.1157

Open Access: Open Access hybrid publication


Modern slavery is used to describe
forms of coercive labor exploitation that affect more than 40 million
persons globally. Such practices are difficult to identify given they
exist in the informal economy, and involve vulnerable individuals.
Addressing modern slavery by organizations requires awareness of its
context and complexities. While corporations have increasingly sought to
manage modern slavery risk in their supply chains, their understanding
of what modern slavery is and what should be managed remains limited. We
argue a key problem with firms’ efforts to manage modern slavery risk
is that it is a psychologically distant concept for them. We apply
construal level theory to explore how organizations’ psychological
distance from modern slavery risk affects their management of risk. We
interviewed purchasing executives at 41 global organizations in
Australia, Finland, and the U.S and identified four approaches to
managing modern slavery risk at different levels of psychological
distance. We also identified that conflicts between organizations'
approaches to risk and what they identify in their operating
environment, precedes construal shifts that help to improve
organizational understanding of labor-related risk. We highlight ways
that organizations' understanding of modern slavery risk plays a role in
their governance of risk in supply chains.

Last updated on 2021-21-10 at 12:16