Balancing People with Profit: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Employee as Stakeholder
The purpose of the following study was to explore perceptions of local CSR strategies among employees, and specifically strategies designed to target local communities, through the lens of stakeholder theory. The apparel industry represents a growing segment of the U.S. economy; however, with increased growth comes increased scrutiny, as apparel companies are expected to prove ethical behaviors by engaging in CSR initiatives. A qualitative research approach was employed and in-depth interviews were conducted with 17 individuals who are employees of apparel firms. Despite growing interest in CSR and the obvious importance of employees in carrying out a firm's CSR initiatives, no studies have examined CSR in the apparel industry from the perspective of the employee. By focusing on the employee, findings expand on research in the areas of stakeholder engagement and CSR strategy. Results of this study point to the need for employee awareness and acceptance of the firm's efforts.