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Using relevant theories from the module, analyse your chosen company’s practices and processes from a responsible business perspective and present your findings.
For this task you must choose to analyse EITHER Patagonia3 or SHEIN4.
Using relevant theories from the module, analyse your chosen company’s practices and processes from a responsible business perspective and present your findings. Include a discussion of the risks and/or opportunities associated with the company. Make recommendations on specific areas where the company might focus their future contribution towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals).
For this assignment, you need to do the following:
1- Refamiliarize yourself with the case study material entitled, “The fashion industry:
(Ir) Responsible Business attached (pages 9-18) and available on Canvas. In addition, refamiliarize yourself with the materials covered between weeks 4 to 10 of the module, although other weeks will still be relevant. This material will provide a starting point, but you should also be prepared to conduct independent research on your chosen company to find evidence to support your analysis. This research should include a range of reliable sources beyond company and media sources, including academic journal articles and additional materials targeted at the company from industry and NGO sources.
2- In this step, select either ‘Patagonia’ or ‘SHEIN’ and evaluate the practices and processes of the company from a responsible business perspective. Your analysis must be critical and examine the practices and activities of your chosen company, applying relevant concepts and theories from the module. Consider whether the business represents a clear-cut case of (ir)responsibleness, or whether they are responsible in some areas and not in others. You will then need to summarize your analysis and discuss your findings in your essay.
Tip: When considering the responsibleness versus irresponsibleness of a potential company, consider their underlying business model. Ask yourself, ‘How do they conduct business?’; ‘How do they make a profit?’; ‘How do they stay competitive?’
3- Building on the analysis you conducted in step two (2), identify and explain the key risks and/or opportunities associated with each company. You should consider the successes and limitations of each company from a responsible business perspective.
4. In this step, propose recommendations on specific areas where the company should focus its future contribution toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals. You will need to justify these recommendations, explaining how they will allow the company to contribute toward the SDGs
Tip: Your recommendations should build on your analysis in steps two (2) and three (3).
Any figures and tables should be in the body of the text (i.e., not at the end of the document).
Resource Dependency Theory1
- One approach to understanding power relationships between buyers and sellers
- Power in a supplier-firm relationship derives from the degree of dependence that each actor has on the other’s resources
- Resource scarcity – how scarce a firm’s resources are
- Resource utility – how useful resources are to the other party
- Buyer (firm) power
- When a suppliers resources are relative plentiful and not highly important to the buyer (materials, products etc.)
- When the buyers resources are relatively scarce and highly important to the supplier (e.g., purchase potential, access to markets)
The Global Production Network1
- A dynamic framework to explain the interconnectedness of production
- Decision-making encompasses geographic, institutional, organizational, and individual configuration of all relevant relationships
- All members in these networks impact and are impacted by decision-making
- Global production networks highlight the social embeddedness of supply relationships
The Industrial Circular Economy5
- The Era of R: Optimizing product use through reuse and service life extension
- Reprogramme goods
- The Era of D: Recovering atoms and molecules – from end of life goods – to pure states
Social Practice Theory
Consumption is “the corollary of the way the practice is organized, rather than as the outcome of personal choice, whether unconstrained or bounded.”7
- Understanding Consumption via Practice Theory
- The engagement in practices explains consumption rather than individual choices
- Practice as “entity” and practice as “performance” with consumers as carriers (perpetuators) of a practice
- Focuses on inconspicuous consumption or ordinary consumption: in response to rational choice and social psychological approaches to sustainable consumption
- Practice as an Object of Inquiry
- Practices become the focus on research and study
- How practices evolve
- How practices become fixed and naturalized in society
- How engagement in practices results in consumption