4 Turning the value chain into a “values chain”

The advocates of the dog-eat-dog school of capitalism contend that just three criteria should be considered when selecting contractors or suppliers: price, quality, and reliability. But if you think that’s the way American consumers think, just ask Nike or the Gap what happened to their sales when some of the factories producing goods for them were exposed for unfair labor practices. Both those companies, having learned the hard way that the American public cares how employees are treated, have since set out to become model corporate citizens.

“Now, hold on!” you might be saying. Sweatshops, child labor, and sixteen-hour-a-day jobs at ten cents an hour represent the extreme case. “Good old Frank’s ...

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