Value-chain accountability: Making the numbers add up

Boardrooms have replaced barricades as the new front line in the debate over globalisation. Companies, governments and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are engaged in ongoing discussions nowadays about the risks and opportunities of global business expansion. It seems a long way from the clashes marked by protestors shouting in the streets. Yet the new civility hasn't yet cracked some vital questions: How will these groups now work together to increase security and prosperity as globalisation plays out? And who will pay for the added costs of greater accountability?  Today's defining issue comes down to this: To what extent are businesses responsible for bad things that happen along their value chains - even among remote suppliers over which they have no control?  Bain & Company's James Allen, Jean-Pierre Felenbok and Martha Stack, explain how companies can effectively manage this new "brand tax".

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