Sustainable business practices and reporting
: case study of a garment manufacturing company in Bangladesh

  • Md Kabir

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Given the widespread prevalence of industrial accidents and human rights violations in the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) sector, the concept of ‘Sustainable Business Practices and Reporting’ (SBPR) has become a key issue in International Retailers’ (IR) sourcing decisions. This study makes important contributions to the social and environmental accounting and reporting (SEAR) literature from the perspective of developing countries. This study deploys institutional theory as the fundamental theoretical framework in order to explain why and how the case company (CC), which is subjected to multiple conflicting pressures, has adopted and implemented SBPR practice at CC. This study has employed a case-study approach and collected evidence from multiple methods, such as in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and documentary analysis, in order to understand the case company’s adoption and implementation of the SBPR process. The findings of this thesis indicate that organizations do not blindly conform to the expectations of the institutional environment; rather they prefer to engage in a customized response by taking into consideration various technical-competitive, institutional, and relational factors. This study also argues that institutional pressures can operate in concert with other pressures, such as technical-competitive pressures, so as to influence the practice adoption process. It further explores whether careful mixing of both substantive and symbolic practices in response to different conflicting pressures can help organizations to achieve ceremonial conformity with the support of a decoupling strategy and the logic of confidence. This study also provides necessary clarification of the practice adoption and implementation process by clearly articulating the connections between the concepts of ceremonial conformity, decoupling and logic of confidence. The findings of the study are useful, given the limited number of empirical investigations of organizational responses in pre-institutionalized environments, and reveal that organizations are aware of their latitude for manoeuvre and can engage in calculative responses, whilst taking into consideration of their technical-competitive issues/pressures.
Date of Award25 Apr 2017
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAtaur R Belal (Supervisor) & Stuart M Cooper (Supervisor)


  • accountability
  • case study
  • ceremonial conformity
  • sustanability reporting
  • readymade garment

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