Compassion on the Factory Floor: Managers’ Roles in the Assurance of Decent Work

Zoom Research Seminar / 5.OG EE Lecture 2

Man in black suit shows empathy to colleagues

Past event — 15 September 2021

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Emily Dickey

PhD Candidate

Kühne Logistics University - KLU

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Despite the organizational benefits of treating employees fairly and the legal ramifications of human rights violations in the workplace, managers continue to perpetuate working environments that lead to the suffering of their employees. By bridging existing research on the behavioral implications of compassion in the workplace, and the importance of decent work in operations and global supply chains, this research theorizes that managers’ adherence to decent work and human rights on their production floor are determined by, and can be predicted by compassion. Compassion is an emotion that, on the trait and state level, allows one to sympathize with those who suffer and then compels them to act to relieve that suffering. By first establishing the relationship between compassion and decent work in paper one, we theorize that compassionate managers will act to relieve suffering in their workplace. Paper two and three then identify antecedents of compassion in managerial settings, and investigate the boundary conditions of its effect on decent work in operations. The resulting behavioral implications will work to further not only compassion research in organizations, but also aid in the advancement of decent work in operations.


Emily Dickey joined the KLU as a PhD candidate in September 2020 under the primary and secondary supervision of Prof. Dr. Prisca Brosi and Prof. Dr. Jan Fransoo, respectively. Her research is based jointly at the crossroads of organizational behavior and operations research, with particular focus on bridging the two fields by addressing compassion and decent work in global supply chains. Emily graduated with a BSc from the University of Tennessee in the United States in 2018, where she studied Supply Chain Management and first began her academic research in sustainable and ethical supply chain practices. Before joining KLU as a PhD candidate, Emily completed a double MSc degree in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management from both the University of Tennessee and the KLU. She completed her studies with a Master thesis analyzing supply chain transparency initiatives and their impact on consumer perceptions of labor conditions in garment supply chains.



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Bärbel Wegener

Assistant to Resident Faculty