Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


The buying game

November 2008

Traidcraft/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Free at

This online game has been created to raise awareness of ethical supply chain issues by taking players through scenarios, asking them to make decisions, and awarding points for the judgements they make. It takes up to 15 minutes to complete, depending on how deeply you explore the options.

I asked six people among our clothing brands to try their hand at the game. Overall the response was good. Most thought the scenarios were realistic enough and that there was educational value in seeing the ramifications of their decisions. Of particular interest were the stories of the people affected, both good and bad.

The consensus was that the game would be especially useful to raise awareness among new employees, reinforcing messages received about corporate responsibility during their induction. Often these are general and for many it is not obvious how they might be relevant to their job. For some, this game might be the first time they have been challenged in such a way. 

On the downside, the ethical choices offered up are perhaps a little too obvious, and there are no examples of real life dilemmas where information is lacking and the consequences of a decision are unclear either way. One other thing to note is that you get more out of the game if you play it several times, and this should perhaps be made clearer.

Overall this is a very good idea and a good start, but further development might deliver a much improved result.

Lesley Roberts, director, corporate responsibility, Pentland Group

Lesley Roberts | UK & NI Ireland | Supply Chain Ethics

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