This thesis presents an ethnography of workers’ experiences of international Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in an internationalised garment factory in India - a factory that produces ready-made garments for international brands and follows the codes of conduct (CoC) demanded by these brands. The thesis shows that workers’ CSR experiences are deeply intertwined with and embedded within ongoing international production processes. The interplay of CoC and production targets results in a working time squeeze, a perpetual shortage of working time, which workers described and termed as bandish. The thesis suggests that it is this bandish which determines workers’ CSR experiences and shapes their physical, psychological, social and financial lives. It argues that international CSR, which intends to improve conditions of and for workers in factories through CoC, is eventually generating ‘hidden work’ for factory workers, work which is both unrecognised and unpaid. This thesis highlights the analytical value of factory workers’ experiences for international CSR and CoC scholarship and contributes to the CSR debates on the tension between profit and legitimacy imperatives by showing their interaction and manifestation in the working and personal lives of workers.
- factory workers
- codes of conduct
- corporate social responsibility