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Generation 2.5 Corporate Social Responsibility: Unlocking the Business Value in the Future of Corporate Citizenship

  • Author(s): Adcock, Kimberly
  • Advisor(s): Appelbaum, Richard
  • Nederveen Pieterse, Jan
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper seeks to explore corporate social responsibility in the apparel industry taking into account the perspective of corporations active in the corporate social responsibility space. It also examines critiques of such commitments. The goal is to identify corporate strategies for social responsibility and how well they align with scholarly critiques and recommendations for the future. The first section of this paper will discuss the conceptualization of corporate social responsibility and the value of corporate social responsibility to corporations. The next section explains why the apparel industry is a particularly sensitive topic in relation to corporate social responsibility and also why it has a considerable amount of potential for significant positive impact. This section will involve the conceptual development of three generations of corporate social responsibility strategy, introducing the notion of a "Generation 2.5," which I argue could provide the future focus of corporate social responsibility in the apparel industry. Finally, I will discuss three case studies of major apparel companies, Nike, Gap, and Patagonia, which have a reputation for being at the forefront of innovation for corporate social responsibility strategies. The goal is to discover the significance of corporate social responsibility in the apparel industry for companies, consumers, workers, and all people with a stake in the operations of these companies. Finally, this paper concludes by exploring the shortcomings of current practices and the future of corporate social responsibility.

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