Labour standards application among Chinese and Indian firms in Ghana: Typical or atypical?

Angela Akorsu, Fang Cooke

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the current interest in the growing amount of Chinese and Indian investments in African countries, little is known on the impact of such investments on the employment conditions of African workers. This study investigates the employment practices of a Chinese-owned and an Indian-owned manufacturing company in Ghana in relation to the national labour laws and international labour standards. This article argues that given the weaknesses in the institutional and financial capabilities of the state and the resultant large scope of autonomy assumed by multinational corporations (MNCs), it is highly unlikely that MNCs will voluntarily adopt a high level of labour standards without tangible benefits to the business. This is particularly the case for smaller MNCs from emerging economies such as China and India, as they often slip through the net of international pressure groups and are most unlikely to receive pressure in their home country to observe labour standards in their overseas operations. This study has policy implications for Ghana and other less developed countries that are seeking foreign direct investment to help national development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2730 - 2748
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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