This is the second installment of a four-part miniseries on worker wellbeing. In the first installment I was joined by Jessie, Dr. Divya Jyoti, an ethnographer, and Dr. Achyuta Adhvaryu, an economist, to debate: how should worker well-being be defined and measured? With this installment, we shift the conversation to the factory level.
But we can’t talk about wellbeing on the production floor without also talking about factory management. When Jessie and I spoke to Kim (yes, another Kim!) about her time working as Quality Production Lead for a buying office in Cambodia we asked her about the hardest part of her job. Her answer? How uncomfortable she was with the way factory management treated people working on the production floor. We get into why she thinks factory management behaved the way that they did, what their incentives were, and what she could or couldn’t do to change it within her capacity as part of buying office.
The conversation was recorded back in 2020. We had a really great conversation with Kim across 5 and 6 so if you like this episode and want to hear more from her be sure to go back and check out those out. Again, episodes 5 and 6.
Want to dig deeper ?
Learn more about what suppliers have to say about purchasing practices. Check out the Sustainable Terms of Trade Initiative. Matthijs Crietee, Secretary General of the IAF also came on the show in 2021 to talk about it. Listen.
Interested in learning more about Chinese owned and managed garment factories operating outside of China? This article in the Chinese Daily gives a good overview. But for more in-depth insight, check out this nuanced perspective on Chinese approaches to management published in Harvard Business Review. It’s a must-read for sustainability advocates seeking insight into how to engage with Chinese factory management.