Against Child Labor; Value-Driven Strategy
Authors: Dhanaraj, Charles; Branzei, Oana; Subramanian, Satyajeet
Source: Richard Ivey School of Business
Company Name: Bayer Group
Number of pages: 19, 7
The case explores value-driven strategy formulation and implementation by bringing to the fore issues of ethics, responsible leadership, social intitiatives in emerging markets and the global-local tensions in corporate social responsibility. It examines how Bayer CropScience addressed the issue of child labour in its cotton seed supply chain in rural India between 2002 and 2008. Bayer had been operating in India for more than a century. In December 2002, the Bayer Group completed the acquisition of India-based Aventis CropScience. Bayer CropScience first learned about the incidence and prevalence of the child labour in its newly acquired India-based cotton seed operations a few months post acquisition, in April 2003. The Aventis acquisition had brought onboard a well-known Indian company, Proagro, which already had operations in the cotton seed production and marketing - a new segment of the supply chain for Bayer. Child labour was widespread in cotton seed production - a traditional practice taken for granted not only by Indian farmers but also by several hundred Indian companies then accounting for approximately 90 per cent of the market share. The (A) case focuses on Bayer's decision whether, when and how to launch a self-run program that would take direct responsibility for tracking and eradicating child labour in rural India.