Challenges of achieving social upgrading in Bangladesh's apparel industry

Islam, Mohammad Tarikul and Stringer, Christina 2018, Challenges of achieving social upgrading in Bangladesh's apparel industry, Society and Business Review, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 77-94, doi: 10.1108/SBR-07-2018-0068.

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Title Challenges of achieving social upgrading in Bangladesh's apparel industry
Author(s) Islam, Mohammad TarikulORCID iD for Islam, Mohammad Tarikul
Stringer, Christina
Journal name Society and Business Review
Volume number 15
Issue number 2
Start page 77
End page 94
Total pages 18
Publisher Emerald
Place of publication Bingley, Eng.
Publication date 2018-12-14
ISSN 1746-5680
Keyword(s) Social Sciences
Business & Economics
Corporate governance
Corporate social responsibility
Business ethics
Organizational theory
Social responsibility
Global governance
Summary Purpose: Despite substantial economic upgrading, Bangladesh’s apparel industry remains confronted by claims of precarious working conditions. This paper aims to understand the challenges of achieving social upgrading and whether benefits of economic upgrading can transfer to workers and their dependents through social upgrading.
Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 90 participants from six apparel firms in Bangladesh. The interviews were conducted following the Rana Plaza disaster.   
Findings: The results suggest that social upgrading has not occurred to the same extent as economic upgrading. Social upgrading has been compromised in part, by the tiered factory system operating and a lack of governance within the lower tier firms.
Research limitations/implications: Single country and one industry constitute the main limitations of this research. Future research could include multiple countries and industries to allow for greater generalization of findings.
Originality/value: The paper provides new insights on how social upgrading might be compromised within the global value chains context and its impact on developing country supplier firms, workers and their families.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/SBR-07-2018-0068
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
1503 Business and Management
1608 Sociology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2020, Emerald Publishing Limited
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Department of Management
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