- Distelhorst, G., Hainmueller, J., & Locke, R. M. (2016). Does lean improve labor standards? Management and social performance in the Nike supply chain. Management Science, 63(3), 707-728.
Lean manufacturing, or waste minimization, is hypothesized to improve the social performance of manufacturers. This study examines a panel of more than 300 Nike supplier factories in 11 developing countries, finding that the adoption of lean manufacturing reduced noncompliance with labor standards reflected in wage and work hour policies. A reduction in these non-compliances could have future implications for how lean manufacturing and other interventions to enhance management capabilities can provide social benefits in global supply chains.