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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2022

Mohammad Jasim Uddin, Fara Azmat, Yuka Fujimoto and Farhad Hossain

Despite considerable research and constant pressure from global media, exploitation has been a persistent problem in the Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) supply chain…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite considerable research and constant pressure from global media, exploitation has been a persistent problem in the Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) supply chain. Yet, the root causes of how and why exploitation still persists remain unexplored. This paper explores the reasons underlying the existence of exploitation in the RMG supply chain of Bangladesh using the theoretical lens of responsible capitalism.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on 98 interviews conducted at multiple levels of the RMG supply chain ecosystem, site visits, observation and archives, the authors unpack the underlying reasons for the existence of exploitation in Bangladeshi RMG supply chain.

Findings

Using the theoretical lens of responsible capitalism, the findings suggest the existence of exploitation as a multifaceted yet nuanced phenomenon that is a result of complex power dynamics, interdependency and interconnectedness of players at multiple levels of the supply chain. The authors extend responsible capitalism theory by adding local context as a key determinant for the RMG supply chain to be responsive, effective and sustainable. The authors further argue the need for a new business model in global supply chain that calls for a fundamental shift of businesses towards responsible capitalism via transformative actions at multiple levels for balancing power in relationships, generate profit with ethical integrity and take responsibility of the consequences of their actions.

Research limitations/implications

The authors use a contextualized case study of the RMG supply chain in Bangladesh using a critical realist approach. Although the use of contextualized case study has enabled better understanding of causal relationships between management practices and exploitation in the local context of Bangladesh, a quantitative approach to establish causality between different factors could be the focus of future research. The findings are specific to the context of Bangladeshi RMG supply chain and may have limited generalizability in other contexts. Further studies may build upon the findings to explore exploitation in RMG supply chain of other sectors and countries in the region and compare the findings to develop comprehensive understanding about the root causes of exploitation.

Practical implications

The findings call for a fundamental shift of business towards responsible capitalism via transformative actions of multiple players across different levels of the supply chains with managerial implications.

Originality/value

By drawing on empirical research, the authors provide a holistic perspective of responsible capitalism that is influenced by interactions and interconnectedness of players in multiple levels of the supply chain. The authors expand the responsible capitalism theory by adding local context as a key determinant that need to be considered for supply chains to be responsive, effective and sustainable.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2015

Md Nuruzzaman

The objective of this study is to investigate how country risk, different political actions from the government and bureaucratic behavior influence the activities in…

Abstract

The objective of this study is to investigate how country risk, different political actions from the government and bureaucratic behavior influence the activities in industry supply chains (SCs) in emerging markets. The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of these external stakeholders’ elements to the demand-side and supply-side drivers and barriers for improving competitiveness of Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry in the way of analyzing supply chain. Considering the phenomenon of recent change in the RMG business environment and the competitiveness issues this study uses the principles of stakeholder and resource dependence theory and aims to find out some factors which influence to make an efficient supply chain for improving competitiveness. The RMG industry of Bangladesh is the case application of this study. Following a positivist paradigm, this study adopts a two phase sequential mixed-method research design consisting of qualitative and quantitative approaches. A tentative research model is developed first based on extensive literature review. Qualitative field study is then carried out to fine tune the initial research model. Findings from the qualitative method are also used to develop measures and instruments for the next phase of quantitative method. A survey is carried out with sample of top and middle level executives of different garment companies of Dhaka city in Bangladesh and the collected quantitative data are analyzed by partial least square-based structural equation modeling. The findings support eight hypotheses. From the analysis the external stakeholders’ elements like bureaucratic behavior and country risk have significant influence to the barriers. From the internal stakeholders’ point of view the manufacturers’ and buyers’ drivers have significant influence on the competitiveness. Therefore, stakeholders need to take proper action to reduce the barriers and increase the drivers, as the drivers have positive influence to improve competitiveness.

This study has both theoretical and practical contributions. This study represents an important contribution to the theory by integrating two theoretical perceptions to identify factors of the RMG industry’s SC that affect the competitiveness of the RMG industry. This research study contributes to the understanding of both external and internal stakeholders of national and international perspectives in the RMG (textile and clothing) business. It combines the insights of stakeholder and resource dependence theories along with the concept of the SC in improving effectiveness. In a practical sense, this study certainly contributes to the Bangladeshi RMG industry. In accordance with the desire of the RMG manufacturers, the research has shown that some influential constructs of the RMG industry’s SC affect the competitiveness of the RMG industry. The outcome of the study is useful for various stakeholders of the Bangladeshi RMG industry sector ranging from the government to various private organizations. The applications of this study are extendable through further adaptation in other industries and various geographic contexts.

Details

Sustaining Competitive Advantage Via Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, and System Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-764-2

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Javed Siddiqui and Shahzad Uddin

The purpose of this paper is to examine the state-business nexus in responses to human rights violations in businesses and questions the efficacy of the UN guiding…

7402

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the state-business nexus in responses to human rights violations in businesses and questions the efficacy of the UN guiding principles on human rights in businesses, in particular in the ready-made garments (RMG) industry in Bangladesh. Drawing on Cohen’s notion of “denial” and Black’s (2008) legitimacy and accountability relationships of state and non-state actors, the study seeks to explain why such “soft” global regulations remain inadequate.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical work for this paper is based on the authors’ participation in two multiple-stakeholder advisory consultation meetings for the RMG sector in Bangladesh and 11 follow-up interviews. This is supplemented by documentary evidence on human rights disasters, responses of the state and non-state actors and human rights reports published in national and international newspapers.

Findings

The paper provides clear evidence that the state-business nexus perpetuates human rights disasters. The study also shows that the Bangladeshi state, ruled by family-led political parties, is more inclined to protect businesses that cause human rights disasters than to ensure human rights in businesses. The economic conditions of the RMG industry and accountability and legitimacy relationships between state and non-state actors have provided the necessary background for RMG owners to continue to violate the safety and security of the workplace and maintain inhumane working conditions.

Research limitations/implications

Complex state politics, including family, kinship and wealthy supporters, and economic circumstances have serious implications for the efficacy of the UN guiding principle on human rights for business. This paper calls for broader political and economic changes, nationally and internationally.

Originality/value

The study highlights the perpetuation of corporate human rights abuses by the state-business nexus, and indicates that human rights issues continue to be ignored through a discourse of denial. This is explained in terms of legitimacy and accountability relationships between state and non-state actors, bounded by complex political and economic conditions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2018

Sardana Islam Khan, Timothy Bartram, Jillian Cavanagh, Md Sajjad Hossain and Silvia Akter

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perspectives of 26 business owners, managers and supervisors on “decent work” (DW) in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh.

1635

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perspectives of 26 business owners, managers and supervisors on “decent work” (DW) in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative study draws on a framework of ethical human resource management and situated moral agency to establish the ways in which RMG workers are afforded DW. This study uses semi-structured interviews to assess the prospect of DW through applying the ILO’s four-pillar framework of DW.

Findings

Findings indicate there is a concern among owners and managers of the need to reconcile internal and external pressures to maintain and improve DW. It is evident that ethical practices and moral agency are not self-initiated but in response to mounting political and legal pressures and those of external stakeholders. Employers favour the concept of workers’ participation committees as one means to communicate and negotiate with workers rather than recognise trade unions.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to six organisations in the RMG sector in Bangladesh, but there are implications for all RMG sector organisations to promote reform and DW for all workers.

Practical implications

DW necessitates major national and international stakeholders to negotiate and cooperate to ensure the long-term competitiveness and survival of the Bangladeshi RMG sector.

Originality/value

The study calls for reform in a developing country where many workers are denied DW.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Mohammed Ziaul Haque and Fara Azmat

This paper aims to examine the state of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in labour-intensive industries in developing countries in the context of economic…

3824

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the state of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in labour-intensive industries in developing countries in the context of economic globalization. Using the ready-made garments’ (RMG) industry in Bangladesh as a case study, challenges and key issues relating to CSR are highlighted.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws from the review of existing literature, and the content analysis of two leading newspapers in Bangladesh for a period of one year (July 2012-June 2013) to identify the key and contemporary issues related to CSR in the RMG industry.

Findings

Findings identify the contemporary issues of concerns associated with CSR in the RMG industry, relating them to the debate on the applicability of Carroll’s CSR pyramid to developing countries. The findings suggest that non-compliance of CSR in labour-intensive industries is a function of the nature of economic globalization. The need for a stakeholder approach towards CSR for the profitability and sustainability of this industry is also highlighted.

Practical implications

This paper makes contributions to two different but important interrelated discourses on CSR and economic globalization. It also provides insights into the complexity involved in CSR in labour-based export industries in developing countries and acts as a springboard for further research.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to look at all major issues of concern regarding CSR in the RMG industry in Bangladesh. As Bangladesh is an exemplar of developing countries and RMG is a typical starter industry, the findings are generalizable to similar industries in other developing countries.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2020

Javed Siddiqui, Kenneth McPhail and Sharmin Shabnam Rahman

The paper explores the emergence of private sector responsibilisation for tackling governance issues in a global supply chain. The infamous case of the Rana Plaza collapse…

1307

Abstract

Purpose

The paper explores the emergence of private sector responsibilisation for tackling governance issues in a global supply chain. The infamous case of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh is used to investigate the ways a frameshift, triggered by a manmade disaster, can potentially influence the effectiveness of the certification process in a research site characterised by the presence of a strong state-business nexus.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical work for this paper is based 24 semi-structured interviews with owners, managers, operators, independent inspectors in the ready-made garments (RMG) industry in Bangladesh between 2014 and 2018. We also analyse a range of archival materials. For the purpose of data analysis, we adopted an exploratory flexible pattern matching design with nested template analysis (Sinkovics et al., 2019).

Findings

Our analysis suggests that the magnitude of the Rana Plaza collapse triggered several frameshifts in multinational corporations approach towards labour governance in Bangladesh. Subsequently, a responsibility framework for the private sector was created, resulting in significant improvements in working conditions in the sector. However, the sustainability of the labour governance mechanisms was significantly affected by the state's ability to play the role of catalyst in the process, mainly due to the presence of a significant state-business nexus.

Originality/value

We find that broadening the scope of sustainability accounting and assurance process can allow social auditors to play a more meaningful role in triggering collective actions to address labour governance issues in supply chains. However, in a context defined by the presence of a state-business nexus, the sustainability of such a process largely depends on the willingness of the state to play the role of a catalyst.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2022

Mia Mahmudur Rahim, Sanjaya Chinthana Kuruppu and Md Tarikul Islam

This paper aims to examine the role of social auditing in legitimising the relationship between the buyer and supplier firms rather than strengthening corporate…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the role of social auditing in legitimising the relationship between the buyer and supplier firms rather than strengthening corporate accountability in the global supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying case study methodology and drawing on Suchman’s theory on societal legitimacy, it is argued that social audits are artefacts of legitimacy, and global firms dominate the buyer–supplier relationship across the supply chain. The analysis is based on data collected from different secondary sources, including Walmart’s corporate sustainability reports.

Findings

Using Walmart’s relationship with Tazreen Fashions Limited around the Tazreen factory fire incident as a case study, it explains that the practices which attempt to symbolically demonstrate accountability from social audits need to shift to a more continuous and sincere demonstration of accountability through the social audit process. For this to occur, the cognitive and pragmatic approaches that international buyers have previously used in auditing their supply firms’ social responsibility are no longer sufficient to achieve societal legitimacy. Instead, a moral turn needs to underpin the intentions and actions of these buyers to maintain legitimacy and demonstrate accountability across the supply industry in developing economies.

Originality/value

The findings of the study answer the questions raised in the extant literature about the expectation from social auditing and whether social auditing serves to ensure corporate accountability. The paper contributes to the policymaking discussion of how social auditing can be configured to include a legal provision to ensure that social auditing is not a parroting tool for corporations.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 May 2022

Md. Rahat Khan and Sanjoy Kumar Roy

The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) sustainable compact is evident for many labor-intensive industries in emerging economies. This study aims to develop a…

Abstract

Purpose

The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) sustainable compact is evident for many labor-intensive industries in emerging economies. This study aims to develop a sustainable human resource (HR) practice model for a labor-intensive industry from the evidence of the Bangladeshi ready-made garments (RMG) sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The study tests the factors identified from the literature for model validation. A total of 22 HR function items were used in a survey of 800 randomly selected respondents from the RMG sector in Bangladesh. The factor analysis (both exploratory and confirmatory) techniques were applied to explore and validate the model.

Findings

The study findings reveal that the factory management and policymakers should focus on sustainable HR practices for the betterment of a labor-intensive industry. In detail, the staffing function involves strategic HR planning, recruitment and selection and perfect employee placement; training and development functions entail proper organizational orientation, various training and development programs and employees’ career management and growth; the motivation function necessitates job design, fairness in the appraisal, practicing good organizational citizenship behavior with sound rewarding system and compensation packages; and finally, the maintenance function entails healthy and safe working environment, good communication and relationship management.

Originality/value

The study is original in developing a sustainable HR practice model with the alignment of ILO’s three inter-linked sustainability compact for a labor-intensive industry from an emerging economy perspective. The study’s outcomes will be a torchbearer for any labor-intensive industry’s sustainable HR practice from an emerging economy across the globe.

Details

Review of International Business and Strategy, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-6014

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2021

Sankit Kassa, Prateek Gupta, Manoj Kumar, Thompson Stephan and Ramani Kannan

In nano-scale-based very large scale integration technology, quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) is considered as a strong and capable technology to replace the well-known…

Abstract

Purpose

In nano-scale-based very large scale integration technology, quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) is considered as a strong and capable technology to replace the well-known complementary metal oxide semiconductor technology. In QCA technique, rotated majority gate (RMG) design is not explored greatly, and therefore, its advantages compared to original majority gate are unnoticed. This paper aims to provide a thorough observation at RMG gate with its capability to build robust circuits.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a new methodology for structuring reliable 2n-bit full adder (FA) circuit design in QCA utilizing RMG. Mathematical proof is provided for RMG gate structure. A new 1-bit FA circuit design is projected here, which is constructed with RMG gate and clock-zone-based crossover approach in its configuration.

Findings

A new structure of a FA is projected in this paper. The proposed design uses only 50 number of QCA cells in its implementation with a latency of 3 clock zones. The proposed 1-bit FA design conception has been checked for its structure robustness by designing various 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64-bit FA designs. The proposed FA designs save power from 46.87% to 25.55% at maximum energy dissipation of circuit level, 39.05% to 23.36% at average energy dissipation of circuit-level and 42.03% to 37.18% at average switching energy dissipation of circuit level.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills the gape of focused research for RMG with its detailed mathematical modeling analysis.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 June 2019

M. Niaz Asadullah and Fahema Talukder

The purpose of this paper is to study the determinants of subjective and emotional well-being of workers in Bangladesh’s female-intensive export-oriented ready-made…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the determinants of subjective and emotional well-being of workers in Bangladesh’s female-intensive export-oriented ready-made garments (RMG) factories based on a function of demographic, economic and psychological factors and work-place characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

Employee-level data are obtained from a purposefully designed survey conducted in 2014 on 50 RMG factories located outside the country’s export processing zones. Dependent variables include domain-specific as well as overall life satisfaction. The analysis is quantitative in nature and based on ordered probit and (factory) fixed-effect regression models.

Findings

Compared to men, female workers are found to be more satisfied with life and financial situations and less depressed, a finding that is robust to controls for workplace characteristics and policies (e.g. provisions for childcare; higher presence of female supervisors; and management’s attitude toward work life balance) and factory fixed effects. This suggests that despite various compliance-related problems, employment in the RMG sector is intrinsically valued by female employees. Among other findings, although absolute income does not appear to affect well-being, relative income effect is statistically significant.

Originality/value

Although there is a sizable literature on the importance of decent jobs and women’s employment in low-pay manufacturing jobs in developing countries, studies on whether women intrinsically value such jobs are limited. Our study is unique in the sense that it draws on a purposefully designed survey conducted a year after the deadly collapse of RMG factory buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The incident exposed unsafe work conditions in which millions of women work in manufacturing sector around the developing world. To our knowledge, this is also the first paper on subjective assessment of work and non-work aspects of lives of women employed in Bangladesh’s RMG sector. The study also contributes to the international literature on the paradox of the contented female worker in low-pay jobs. Therefore, the paper will be of significant interest to readers from other countries that rely on apparel exports and depend on female labor.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

1 – 10 of 238