Title: Offshoring, lean production and a sustainable global supply chain

Authors: Robert N. Mefford

Addresses: School of Business and Management, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

Abstract: Seeking lower costs of production, many global firms have offshored production of products, parts and services. Results of these efforts have often disappointed in terms of quality, productivity and sustainability issues. Firms need to take a strategic view of offshoring decisions emphasising the role foreign production plays in their supply chain. Modern systems, such as lean production, require a tightly linked global supply chain. Lean production also fosters a sustainable global supply chain making practices such as sweatshop working conditions and environmental pollution incompatible and uneconomic.

Keywords: supply chain management; SCM; lean production; sustainability; CSR; corporate social responsibility; sweatshop labour; offshoring; sustainable development; global supply chains; sustainable supply chains; environmental pollution.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2010.033006

European Journal of International Management, 2010 Vol.4 No.3, pp.303 - 315

Published online: 06 May 2010 *

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