This paper aims to investigate the governance of labour standards in the less-studied yet rapidly globalising Ghanaian construction sector. While incorporation into international production networks generates several opportunities for workers, the drivers of adverse incorporation originate at multiple levels of analysis. The study offers an investigation into such drivers and their interconnections.
The authors utilise a multi-scalar framework and mixed methods of analysis. Both the qualitative and multi-level quantitative analyses rely on a primary dataset collected among 30 firms and 304 respondents, through semi-structured interviews.
A composite yet unbalanced labour standards governance configuration emerges, where the absence of social governance combined with a weak role of the State leaves labour standards subject to the variegated landscape of firms' embeddedness in the sector.
The construction industry is acquiring ever-increasing relevance in the economic trajectory of Ghana as well as that of several other African economies, not least for its large employment generation potential. Research on the governance of labour standards in the sector is, however, largely missing. The authors argue that labour incorporation dynamics represent a complex under-investigated regulatory challenge as well as a policy-making priority. The analysis is one of the first to offer a reconstruction of the governance landscape determining the challenges workers face in the Ghanaian construction sector, from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective.