Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore perceptions of Indian consumers regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the apparel industry, and to investigate its importance in the apparel decision‐making process. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research design was used as the methodological basis for the study. In‐depth interviews were conducted in India with a total of 26 participants (19 males and 7 females). Interviews lasted between one and two hours and were conducted until saturation in responses was achieved. Findings – Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed via a thematic approach; six themes emerged that are used to organize participants’ responses regarding CSR in the apparel industry. A conceptual framework grounded in the data was developed that highlights relationships between factors that surfaced as important to CSR in the decision‐making process. Research limitations/implications – Because data were collected specifically with Indian consumers, study findings may not be applicable to consumers in other developing countries. Participants were asked about their perceptions of CSR as consumers, thus it would also be important to know how manufacturers in India view CSR and what it means for their businesses. Practical implications – Results of this study provide in‐depth insight into Indian consumers’ perceptions of CSR in the apparel industry. Understanding CSR from the Indian consumers’ perspective helps to articulate the economic and social value of addressing ethical concerns within the global apparel supply chain. Originality/value – The paper's findings are consistent with those of previous studies on CSR and the paper is one of the first to examine the issues relative to the Indian consumer population. India is an important sourcing destination for international apparel retailers, and at the same time, boasts a large population of consumers with a growing level of purchasing power. The paper provides insight into what this group thinks about CSR in an industry that contributes significantly to their country's economy.
Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 4, 2012
Keywords: India; Consumer behaviour; Corporate social responsibility; Garment industry; Apparel industry
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