Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Kabeer, Naila
Haq, Lopita
Sulaiman, Munshi
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper Series No. 19-193
The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in April, 2013 resulting in the death and injury of more than 2000 workers from the country's export garment industry was one of the worst industrial disasters in recorded history. The tragedy galvanized a range of stakeholders to take action to prevent future disasters. Prominent in these efforts were two multi-stakeholder agreements which brought together lead buyers, trade unions and NGOs in a concerted effort to improve health and safety conditions in the industry. These initiatives represent a move away from the buyer-driven compliance-based model that continues to dominate CSR to what is being described as a 'cooperation-based' model which brings together multiple stakeholders who affect, and are affected, by the business operations of lead MNCs in global value chains. This paper is concerned with the experiences and perceptions of workers with regard to these new initiatives. It examines competing interpretations of stakeholder analysis within the CSR literature and uses these to frame its key research question: does the shift from compliance to co-operation as the basis of CSR offer a promising way forward or merely a shift in rhetoric? We use a survey of garment workers to explore the extent to which these initiatives have brought about improvements in wages and working conditions in the garment industry, where progress has been slowest and why.
Global value chains
export garment production
corporate social responsibility
stakeholder theory labor standards
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
1.72 MB

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.