05 October 2006
British business should pay greater attention to ethical issues in their dealings with suppliers, according to a report by the Institute of Business Ethics.
Supplier Relationships in the UK: Business ethics and procurement practice draws on more than 25 interviews with customers and suppliers.
It highlights two groups of ethical issues - responsible practices by purchasing staff and fair business relationships with suppliers; and large companies taking responsibility for what happens in the firms in their supply chain, as well as in their own.
The author of the report, Laura Spence of Brunel University, says that for too long ethical concerns about these relationships have focused on suppliers in developing countries instead of those in the UK.
"This has been a neglected area, with any focus solely on suppliers from the developing world. The ethics of the supply chain should be as important to management as all other areas of ethical behaviour," she said.