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Stakeholder capitalism and workers' rights in the Bangladesh garment industry

Stakeholder capitalism and workers' rights in the Bangladesh garment industry
Stakeholder capitalism and workers' rights in the Bangladesh garment industry
This thesis provides an original contribution to understanding of stakeholder capitalism and applications of stakeholder capitalism to labour governance in globalised clothing production networks.

Specifically, this thesis draws on primary qualitative and ethnographic field-data collected in Dhaka, Bangladesh to provide new insight to the challenge of poor working conditions and workers’ rights in the global garment industry. The research presented here questions the potential of retail-led stakeholder capitalism to contribute positive development outcomes to the lives of workers employed in cut and stitch garment manufacture.

Adopting the Global Production Network’s (GPN) framework, the thesis argues that the ability of stakeholder capitalism to engage and advance the voice of workers in clothing and retail GPNs is influenced by the nature of the relationship and strategic coupling between transnational retailers and their localised factory suppliers.

It argues that civil society demands for labour standards have generated a compliance-based response to stakeholder capitalism whereby expectations and acceptance of labour standards are negotiated between retailers and their suppliers. While these negotiations appear discursive, the voices of workers in these negotiations appear largely absent. Thus, it makes an original contribution to understanding relational processes in clothing production systems, moving away from top-down, buyer-driven linear approaches,to conceive power relations in retail production networks as dynamic, subjective and negotiated. This thesis argues that how these power relationships are negotiated and the impacts and interactions of these relations needs to be understood and accounted for if stakeholder capitalism is going to have a serious impact on improving the lives of workers in globalised production systems.
Tighe, Eleanor G.
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Tighe, Eleanor G.
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Sunley, Peter
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Ruwanpura, Kanchana N
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Tighe, Eleanor G. (2015) Stakeholder capitalism and workers' rights in the Bangladesh garment industry. University of Southampton, School of Geography, Doctoral Thesis, 284pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis provides an original contribution to understanding of stakeholder capitalism and applications of stakeholder capitalism to labour governance in globalised clothing production networks.

Specifically, this thesis draws on primary qualitative and ethnographic field-data collected in Dhaka, Bangladesh to provide new insight to the challenge of poor working conditions and workers’ rights in the global garment industry. The research presented here questions the potential of retail-led stakeholder capitalism to contribute positive development outcomes to the lives of workers employed in cut and stitch garment manufacture.

Adopting the Global Production Network’s (GPN) framework, the thesis argues that the ability of stakeholder capitalism to engage and advance the voice of workers in clothing and retail GPNs is influenced by the nature of the relationship and strategic coupling between transnational retailers and their localised factory suppliers.

It argues that civil society demands for labour standards have generated a compliance-based response to stakeholder capitalism whereby expectations and acceptance of labour standards are negotiated between retailers and their suppliers. While these negotiations appear discursive, the voices of workers in these negotiations appear largely absent. Thus, it makes an original contribution to understanding relational processes in clothing production systems, moving away from top-down, buyer-driven linear approaches,to conceive power relations in retail production networks as dynamic, subjective and negotiated. This thesis argues that how these power relationships are negotiated and the impacts and interactions of these relations needs to be understood and accounted for if stakeholder capitalism is going to have a serious impact on improving the lives of workers in globalised production systems.

Text
EleanorTighe_FinalThesis_Submission_09April_2015.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Published date: July 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 377151
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/377151
PURE UUID: cd5254fe-c5e7-411b-b1d1-738f00d60ce7

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Date deposited: 07 Jul 2015 15:38
Last modified: 08 May 2018 16:31

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