Harmonious CSR and sustainability in China : Shoetown Footwear as a case study
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainability and stakeholder theories have often been implemented in Chinese business without adequate consideration of the Chinese context. This thesis explores the successful implementation of CSR and sustainability at Shoetown Footwear Co., Ltd, and how this has been achieved. The Guangdong based Shoetown is one of Nike’s global contract factories and strategic partners. Shoetown is an example of a large-scale Chinese private enterprise operating within a global value-chain. The Shoetown case study illuminates a holistic system of sustainability management through a focus on people, community and harmony, which results in high-quality thinking, skill development, teamwork and enhancement of discretionary effort at every organisational level. The management approach at Shoetown utilises a skilful mix of eastern and western business theories embedded within the Chinese business context. This approach has resulted in sustained commercial success, technical innovation, high-quality environmental management and social sustainability. It demonstrates that Shoetown has achieved good practice in implementing CSR and sustainability. Shoetown’s management practice has a strong focus on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability with a harmonious approach, which has been strongly influenced by traditional Chinese culture. It concludes that the harmonious approach is a key ingredient for Shoetown’s success in its implementation of CSR and sustainability. A more appropriate Sustainability Phase Model for the Chinese context is proposed which includes enhancements to assist in implementing CSR and Sustainability. The author recommends that this Sustainability Phase Model for a Chinese context be tested in further research in other Chinese organisations.
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