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The Levi Strauss story

The Antidote

ISSN: 1363-8483

Article publication date: 1 August 1996



Spotlights Levi Straus, a company which has adopted a strong ethical stakeholder approach — but one which has also met with commercial success. Recounts the story of how, in 1850, Levi Strauss — who was a Bavarian immigrant to the USA — founded the San Francisco Company that still bears his name. Asserts that the company's most famous product, blue jeans, are known worldwide, but that the company lives by a set of values which epitomize a real stakeholder approach — and still with outstanding success commercially. Gives background history, challenges views and describes how Levi Strauss have built on their strength in the markets from their strengths within the company. Provides, in a colour feature box, the company ‘Aspiration Statement’, which gives an insight into how the company has progressed through its employees. Closes by showing that in June 1996, Levi Strauss announced that it would pay its 37,000 workforce a recognition bonus, payable in 2002 (to celebrate the millennium), $750million — at an average of $20,000 each, even leavers in 2000 will get five‐sixths, with one year employees getting one‐sixth! (Although there are (some) further strings attached.)



Kippenberger, T. (1996), "The Levi Strauss story", The Antidote, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 29-32.




Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited