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Title: Firm responses to system, societal and dominance effects : a study of the garment industry in Bangladesh
Author: Zaman, Sawlat
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 7311
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2015
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The purpose of this research project is to explore and identify the specifics of system, society and dominance (SSD) effects on the management practices of Bangladeshi apparel suppliers, with a particular focus on their recruitment and selection practices. Supplier firms’ responses to structural forces were viewed by examining their strategic choices and actions. The study used an analytical framework based on concepts of social capital and the private regulation of social compliance standards, in conjunction with the original SSD framework, as a holistic approach to understand supplier firms’ changing management practices. Primary research in Bangladesh was undertaken through case studies, individual interviews, content analysis of recruitment advertisements and other secondary sources. Through a detailed review of the findings in this study, a ‘multilevel analysis’ of structural forces on suppliers’ firms is established. Findings of this research project reveal a mixture of international and local influences on actions observed in supplier firms. It is found that the interactions of societal and dominance effects are complex and variable in outcomes for management development in the Bangladeshi garment sector. Analysis shows that superficial change to managerial practices is apparent in many respects, but the degree of real or substantive concrete change in the recruitment and development of workplace managers is very much influenced by the relative strength of the local norms of social relations. The actual (as opposed to claimed) practices are mediated through local actors’ (employers) strategic choices in response to international forces, and are both a function and a consequence of local social norms and established local expectations. The study has laid the foundation of future research in a number of directions through contributions made at an empirical, theoretical and conceptual level. At an empirical level, the study’s contribution to the literature lies in its focus on the dominance effects flowing from lead firms within an international supply chain to their independent suppliers located in a developing country. This study draws out an under-researched topic of human resource management (HRM) practices in Bangladesh, applies the SSD framework and therefore complements research conducted in developed economies. It shows that firms in developing countries are particularly influenced by multiple and different actors of the global value chain and not just a single nation state or single dominant industry. At a theoretical level this research project has elaborated the understanding of the SSD effects through the identification of regulation in its different forms as elements within the SSD framework. Findings contribute to understanding the specific ways in which dominance effects work in individual workplaces. Through the pressure of international buyers’ private regulation of supplier firms, the creation of more formalised HR practices was found to be an indirect result of dominance effects. The incorporation of social capital as a focal point in the SSD effects offers a new insight or concept into the understanding of social capital in a broad context. The study draws on social capital and its significance in unpacking the meaning of societal effects on HR practices and employment relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor