Essays on Kmarts Reaction to the Bangladesh Factory Collapse Coursework

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The paper "Kmart’ s Reaction to the Bangladesh Factory Collapse  " is a good example of marketing coursework.   Kmart’ s reaction to the Bangladesh factory collapse in mid-2013 showed that it was ready to engage in corporate social responsibility activities. This issue brings to light the impact of corporate social responsibility and what influences business firms to engage in it. Firms participate in CSR to grow their relationships with different people in various communities where their operations are based (Dahlsrud 2008). The reaction by Kmart to the accident that took place in Bangladesh demonstrated the firm’ s willingness to institute sustainable development practices to improve its reputation in different industries it is involved in.

As a result, Kmart will establish effective corporate communication practices to help it achieve positive results in its operations. This paper will discuss the effects of corporate social responsibility initiatives applied by firms in different environments by focusing on Kmart’ s public relations statement regarding the factory accident. There has been an argument that corporate firms need to engage in CSR activities to improve the welfare of people living there. The discussion has mainly focused on the conflict between a shareholder’ s interests and societal expectations and how they affect a firm’ s long term CSR practices in a given industry.

Stakeholders have different interests which tie them to a particular organisation. These interests make them endorse or reject a firm’ s participation in CSR initiatives targeting different communities. As such, a firm needs to use effective communication channels to explain to its employees, shareholders and clients about specific CSR activities it seeks to take part in (Cooper 2004). A firm needs to understand the needs of its stakeholders to assess how they are likely to react to different CSR initiatives it seeks to participate in. Stakeholders are directly affected by decisions made by a firm regarding the manner in which it conducts its operations in a given industry.

As a result, a firm needs to be involved in practices that represent the interests of its stakeholders effectively in different markets it is involved in. Kmart’ s corporate communication after the accident showed the firm was in touch with the welfare of factory accident victims. The firm took a turnaround after failing to join hands with other fashion retailers from different parts of the world to advocate for safe working conditions for Bangladesh’ s textile workers.

This communication is a positive step that allows the firm to rethink its approach on different issues that affect workers in different industries. The firm showed that it had a strong interest in good labour practices that give all workers good working conditions that respect their personal dignity (Carroll 1999). The firm’ s imports textiles from manufacturing zones in Bangladesh and other south Asian countries. As a result, the firm needs to show its clients and employees that it recognises the importance of sustainable development practices in different industries.

The stakeholder model of CSR requires a firm to integrate the social objectives of particular communities that are affected by its operations in its long term vision. A firm that fails to internalise different aspects of CSR in its internal operations may fail to keep in touch with different issues that affect people in different communities. As such, it is likely to face difficulties in maintaining its competitive edge in a particular market (Davis 2007).

The above case shows that Kmart and other retail firms are interested in putting in place policies to minimise health and safety risks textile workers in different parts of the world are exposed to.

References

Benn, S & Bolton, D 2011, Key concepts in corporate social responsibility, Sage, London.

Blowfield, M & Murray, A 2011, Corporate responsibility, OUP, New York.

Carroll, AB 1999, ‘Corporate social responsibility - evolution of a definitional construct’, Business & Society, vol. 38, pp. 268–295.

Cooper, S 2004, Corporate social performance: a stakeholder approach, Ashgate, London.

Crane, A & Matten, D 2010, Business ethics, OUP, Oxford.

Dahlsrud, A 2008, ‘How CSR is defined’, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, vol. 15, pp. 1–13.

Davis, A 2007, Mastering public relations, Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Donaldson, T & Dunfee, TW 1999, Ties that bind: a social contracts approach to business, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

Fisher, C & Lovell, A 2003, Business ethics and values, Prentice Hall, London.

Frederick, WC 2006, Corporation, be good!: the story of corporate social responsibility, Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis.

McBarnet, DJ, Voiculescu, A & Campbell T 2007, The new corporate accountability: corporate social responsibility and the law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Tricker, B 2011, Corporate governance, OUP, New York.

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