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The integral use of codes of conduct in supply chain contracts has been neglected in the HR literature. However, the business ethics and labor relations literature indicates that codes have not protected the rights of employees in developing economies despite considerable effort and millions of dollars having been spent on social auditing. This paper presents a case study on a Vietnamese apparel factory to demonstrate a more positive example. What it also shows is the one-sided nature of the contract between a European brand and a Vietnamese manufacturer, and that there are prerequisite factors necessary before the set social standards are likely to be implemented. The power of the MNE in this situation is criticized but this case also shows how this power can be used positively. Suggestions to improve and protect workers’ rights in Vietnam and other developing economies are also discussed.

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Conference Paper

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