This paper examines the transfer of company and multi-stakeholder codes of conduct from developed to developing countries. This requires the involvement of subcontractors and NGOs in developing countries. This moving of ethical codes to developing countries condenses and reproduces, under the twin pressures of competitiveness and social auditing, the paradoxes of ethical transnational production in the international organizations of local firms. This paradoxes are demonstrated from a case study of a workplace in China. The paper ends by outlining three paradoxes and commenting on the development of a managerialist 'audit culture' in workplace practices as commodification of ethical codes.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Competition and Change, 9 (2), 2005, © Maney Publishing.