Commercial pressures and social justice in the Indian textile and garment industries: rules, conventions, commitments and change
Braithwaite, Peter Franklin
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This thesis explores the tensions that arise when business enterprises respond to situations that have both commercial aspects and implications for workers. Using Grounded Theory methodology it examines data from 56 case profiles, extensive interviews and secondary sources in order to understand the nature and variety of the social and commercial commitments that enterprises in the Indian textile and garment industries make and how these are influenced by the rules and conventions inherent in global value chains and in the local culture. It uses concepts drawn from Convention Theory, from social realism and from the social justice literature to develop an analytical framework that explains how priorities are coordinated in three arenas – within enterprises, in interactions connected with the workplace and in society as a whole. The findings show that, in the mainstream, social commitments are generally weak and behaviour towards workers is inconsistent, reflecting a reactive stance that ethical trading has done little to change. Most social enterprises have similarly weak commercial commitments and efforts by Fair Trade organisations to reach mainstream markets have proved problematic. Few examples have been found of commercial success achieved in a way that also meets the criteria of social justice. Those cases that have come closest have created new business models that integrate social and commercial values, forged by means of long-term business relationships or partnerships. A variety of mutually-reinforcing factors combine to determine the balance of priorities – public discourse, engagement by stakeholders, including workers, and internal processes for resolving differences – and these are affected by the level of scrutiny and openness to organisational learning. Interventions aimed at greater social justice in the industry or at scaling up social enterprise need to recognise the complexity of these interrelationships and the ways in which rules, conventions and commitments blend to determine behaviour.
CitationBraithwaite, Peter Franklin (2012) Commercial pressures and social justice in the Indian textile and garment industries: rules, conventions, commitments and change. Doctoral thesis, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.
Library catalogue entryhttp://bldscat.ids.ac.uk/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=220798
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