Assessment of leading apparel specialty retailers’ csr practices as communicated on corporate websites: Problems and opportunities

Manveer Mann, Sang Eun Byun, Hyejeong Kim, Kelli Hoggle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the increased attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and regulatory changes in recent years, little is known about how apparel companies are implementing and communicating CSR practices to their stakeholders. To fill the gap, this study investigated the range and strategies of leading apparel specialty retailers’ CSR practices as communicated on their websites over a longitudinal period of 1 year. In total, 17 apparel specialty retailers were included in the analysis. The companies’ websites were content-analyzed in-depth using the coding criteria focusing on labor and environmental issues developed for this study. The initial data were collected in November 2011 and the study was replicated in December 2012 to examine any changes in the CSR practices. As of 2011 only nine companies addressed CSR issues on their websites at different degrees despite their leadership positions in the industry. Environmental issues were addressed by only five companies, with different ranges of practices. In 2012, all 17 companies addressed labor issues on their websites with varying degrees of specificity. In terms of environmental issues, six companies (an increase of one company from 2011) addressed environmental initiatives on their websites with wider ranges of practices. Discussed are problems and opportunities, as well as the role of the government and stakeholders, for the effective communications of CSR policies and initiatives for the apparel industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-622
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume122
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Apparel specialty retailer
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Environmental issues
  • Labor issues

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