Sumangali Scheme, Integrated Social Contract Theory, hypernorms, rules of procedure, authentic norms, legitimate norms, relativism, universalism, supply chain


The economic importance of the Indian Textile and Clothing (T&C) industry is unquestioned. It is one of the second largest employment generating industry, after agriculture, with direct employment of over 35 million people. Tamil Nadu accounts for over 65% of the total number spinning units in India and has been reported exploiting young women workers in the spinning and textile units what is called the “Sumangali Scheme”. “Sumangali” in Tamil means ‘happily married woman’. Globalization confronts decision-makers in connection with global conditions in identifying labour standards that can serve as guidelines for corporations producing or outsourcing outside of their home country. The Article shows that in a globalized business world the concept of a conventional corporate ethic system to put all energy into the development of codes of conduct, and ethical audits and sustainability reporting falls short. This applies to industries like the Tamil Nadu textile industry, as there is no clarity with regard to the causal factors and the key players in the supply chain of such a complex social system. The Integrative Social Contract Theory (ISCT) allows understanding the problem of Supply-Chain Responsibilities as a contractual relationship that denotes concrete moral responsibilities.

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