Caught in the System: Felipe Montez and Concerns about the Global Supply Chain

What action should a junior manager take when he discovers poor working conditions at his company's South China supplier?
Mary Gentile, William Klepper  | Spring 2009
Print this page

The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics Case Series

In 2003, a new purchasing director and product designer, Felipe Montez, is hired by a Spanish maker of personal electronics. The company has long outsourced elements of its manufacturing to China, but no one from headquarters has ever visited the factories where its goods are produced. When Montez makes the trip, he discovers that workers at one factory, many of whom are very young, are subjected to unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. Montez's manager does not want to make any changes that might result in higher prices. This case teaches students how to explore this complex problem in the global supply chain and how a junior staff member might prudently take action.

Case ID: 081803
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note

Buy select cases through The Case Centre,  Ivey Publishing and Harvard Business Publishing.

Contact us by e-mail at Columbia CaseWorks or 212-853-8585.