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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Global Supply Chains

Project Description

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project based in the School of Management under the supervision of Dr Vivek Soundararajan ( and Dr Deborah Brewis (


One of the central drivers of globalization has been the changing production geography of multinational enterprises, whose activities have resulted in new organizational forms and relationships across the globe. Indeed, global supply chains have created a range of opportunities for suppliers in developing as well as developed country actors, including economic upgrading and employment. Nevertheless, as research, media and civil society reports show (e.g. Crane et al., 2019), supplier facilities in developing countries are rife with issues pertaining to equality, diversity and inclusion (Tsing 2009).

With respect to equality, diversity and inclusion in global supply chains, current research predominantly focuses on gender issues. While gendered inequalities in global supply chains are important to understand and address, it is also pressing that we develop a deeper understanding of other forms of oppression that fall along demographic lines, including race, language, caste, religion, and place of origin; which may intersect with gender (Crenshaw 1990). Such systems of inequality are rooted in both local and global histories, and contemporary transformations of the economy, technology and society. Only by developing a greater understanding of these power dynamics, and how different forms of oppression are positional (Anthias 2006) in different contexts and for different workers, can companies and policy makers appreciate the impact of how global supply chains are organized and enable change that promotes equality, diversity and inclusion.

The aims of this project will be to:

a) develop greater understanding of intersecting forms of inequality in global supply chains, based in an agreed upon context or industry;
b) identify factors that contribute to inequality at individual and structural levels
c) explore the impact of such inequalities at individual and structural levels
d) develop innovative interventions that address the factors identified, and which promote equality, diversity and inclusion in global supply chains.

The project invites applicants to engage in a range of ethnographic qualitative methods, including interviews and observation to collect in-depth data from a range of actors in global supply chains such as suppliers, workers, families, unions, civil society actors, intermediaries and lead firms.


Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant discipline.

In applications, the candidate should express interest, any preference, and/or expertise in a socio-geographical location for the research and identify the relevant intersecting relations of power.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form:

Please ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020.


Anthias, F. (2006). Belongings in a globalising and unequal world: Rethinking translocations. The situated politics of belonging, 17-31.
Crane, A., Soundararajan, V., Bloomfield, M. B, Spence, L. J, LeBaron, G. (2019). Decent work and economic growth in South Indian garment industry.
Crenshaw, K. (1990). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stan. L. Rev., 43, 1241.
Tsing, A. (2009). Supply chains and the human condition. Rethinking Marxism, 21(2), 148-176.

How good is research at University of Bath in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 64.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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