A Csr Gap Analysis of the Gap

Topics: Management, Project management, Decision making, Marketing, Sociology, Supply chain management / Pages: 11 (2512 words) / Published: Dec 21st, 2008
CSR Gap Analysis of the GAP

Gap Inc prefaces their 2004/5 CSR report with the question: what is a company’s role in society? Their answer is that a company ‘only realizes its full potential when it embraces its role as a global citizen’.

This raises two interesting points; the first is that the answer to the question ‘what is a company’s role in society?’ will be conditioned by normative assumptions about business/government relations in a firm’s country of incorporation.

David Detomasi in ‘The Political Roots of CSR’ suggests that institutional and political drivers will influence whether and for what purpose firms pursue CSR.

He posits two types of institutional models and locates the United States in that model in which government is reluctant to constrain via regulation managers’ freedom in pursuing shareholder return and the expectation of CSR is weak.

The second idea is that of GAP as a ‘global citizen.’ Although a multinational company such as GAP operates over national boarders, there exist no laws at International level to govern their activities. The multinational corporation exists at a level governed by international organisations designed by and for agreement between states.

Kline notes that ‘The domain of International law is limited and generally applies to corporate entities only through the intermediary of national legal authorities in the enterprises country of incorporation.’

Labour laws in the country of manufacture are often limited in their scope and enforcement and there exists tension and trade offs between growth and social and environmental issues in developing countries.

Note the response of India’s Commerce Minister Kamal Nath to the Observer exposé of child labour used by the unauthorised subcontractor of one of GAP’s suppliers. ‘The minister cautioned against the use of non-tariff barriers, like raking up the issue of child labour, as a protectionist device by the developed countries.’

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