Talk:“The Low Price” of the textile discounter KiK – consequences for labour conditions in textile factories in Bangladesh

Active discussions

Final assessment

Dear Caro, congratulations! You have been working very precisely, I could rely on your deadlines (which had to be adjusted to your program). Your theme and approach (method) is good and you come to well justified conclusions. Anyway, you could provide slightly better context to the case in these conclusions - as suggested by reviewer and also me :-). That means, you might have also described more experiences taken from the case study than discussion of the Code of conduct. You have communicated with your reviewer quite a lot, which is good, but you did not accept any of his suggestions and improved only citations (as obvious from the page history). But generally I am very satisfied with your text, you have invested a lot of effort in it - it is proof read now and we might work with it further on (for posible publication). Best regards and good luck in future.

--Jana Dlouha 08:48, 12 March 2011 (CET)

Peer review (Zuzana Cabejšková)

Criteria High/Medium/Low
Content 10
Context 9
Practical relevance 10
Focus 10
Clarity 8
Critical approach 8
Elaborateness (commitment) 10
Individual input & risk-taking 9
Reader's attractiveness 10
Formal features 10
Total (points) 94

Written Comments for Author

Dear Caroline, I enjoyed reading your study case very much. It is evident, that you are interested in the topic and that you understand it well, which enabled you to structure your thoughts perfectly and give the text the logic and simplicity it needs to transmit its message to an uninitiated reader. The topic of bad labour conditions in garment industry isnot new and presents a very complex issue, so you were unintentionally limited in originality of conclusions. Nevertheless as to the content you surely added views and data relevant to the topic, which arent known to general public (the purchasing tactiques, the 2008 research by AMRF,the existence of Code of Conduct of KIK...). Let me comment just few details I was missing or didnt understand. At first I wasnt able to get an absolutely complete image of the Bangladeshi economic background. When showing how exploited third-world workers are, people often argue with their wage: "In there and there, women work just for 1 dollar a day". This sort of information is of course shocking for a western citizen, but it lacks context. What is one dollar worth in that place? A loaf of bread or food for two people? This is something I longed to know, when looking at the T-shirt graph and your estimation of 20 cents going to the manufacturer. Moreover it would be nice to provide what the average wage in Bangladeshi garment factories is (compared to the national average and joined by some living prices). I can imagine though, that it might be difficult to find such information.

Secondly I was a little confused with the presentation of KIK. In paragraph 3.3 (Code of Conduct) you paraphrase the brochure - KIK claims to control the quality of working conditions in their supplier factories by unannounced audits. But then in the conclusion it is pointed out, that the problem of these audits its their voluntariness. I cant imagine and audit being voluntary and suprising (unanounced) and the same time. I am sorry, maybe I just didnt get it well. I certainly asked myself, whether these audits are carried out at all then? Is their content available to the public? What are their results? You mentioned some audits being irrelevant and tricked (did you mean the ones by KIK?), but that was an opponents statement, so I was wondering maybe it would be good to add some more views of KIK taken from these audits. This is to assure that the case study is really unbiased, because it seems that these audits serve as the "alibi" of KIK therefore they are essential to the discussion.

Lastly I will express my idea of including local consequences of the cheap clothes retail. Here, by local I mean German. I suppose that in Germany there existed garment factories that were bancrupted by the uneven concurence of cheap products from developing countries. Maybe consequences for the customer exist also - low quality of clothes etc.

In conclusion I see these critical observations as minor insufficiencies, my overall assessment is therefore very high. Congratulations! :)

General Recommendation for articles :

1. Acceptable as is

Zuzana Cabejšková, March 8th, 2011

Second draft of the case study

Dear Caro, I value your work very high – you have written an excellent case study and I have only few remarks on that. They are mostly positive:

  • You have identified a good problem that is relevant for the assigned genre – case study. Your text illustrates the problem which has a global dimension and may be described as its accompanying feature.
  • You have provided general background (international conditions and agreements), local context, and principles of KiKs business strategy. And you have described the local situation sufficiently
  • You have built your arguments on data, and identified, where these data could be biased or manipulated. This is really justified, critical approach.
  • Moreover, you have made a prospect for future “research” – to invent an independent auditing system. There might be more questions to explore however: e.g. how the economical considerations of big stores could be altered. You have started to discuss the percentage of wages – if they are raised some ten times, there would not be any difference in the final price of the product. But if the big company does not substantially rise the percentage paid to the local factory, who will guarantee that its owners won’t behave in the same way and pay their employees only a small proportion of the income? Does it make sense to audit the local conditions if the global are not regulated? Is there any regulatory framework on a global level? Rights of labors should be amended by rights of business partners. And here the WTO has a role to play.
  • You are right that the transparency and availability of information would help very much. But you did not point it out as a specific topic – this is also a basis of fair discussion between involved stakeholders. They play a role, besides regulatory mechanisms.
  • Finally, I am suggesting you that you do not use so many references to “previous paragraph, next chapter” etc. – change some of them
  • And your citations are not exactly by the norm ...

Best regards – and thank you for your effort!

Jana, March 3rd, 2011

First draft of the case study

The theme is already highly developed, lot of arguments have been brought to support the thesis that the labour work in developing countries might be protected only formally by Codes of Conduct that are not respected in reality. This is the core of case study, and could be explained how it could happen (missing regulations on international level?)

I think that the text needs not to be rewritten completely, just please make it more clear to non-experts (e.g. provide some link to KiK - I did not know what kind of company it is). Highlight the core principle - violation of labor rights - and its context, conditions under which this could happen. This is the main idea and contribution of your case, and focus your logic and argumentation towards strong conclusion in this respect. Your potential research questions leave for further stages and real researchers, just offer some solution (which could be explored further on).

Actually, you might be ready with your writing quite soon, and wish you good luck! Formally, use please multiple reference like this: [1] (look in the editing mode)[1].

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Who pays for our clothing from Lidl and KIK? Published at Kampagne für Saubere-Kleidung (Clean Clothes Campaign; CCC). Published as brochure at January 1st, 2008: http://www.saubere-kleidung.de/downloads/publikationen/2008-01_Brosch-Lidl-KiK_en.pdf (p. 28).

--Jana Dlouha 11:49, 25 January 2011 (CET)

Literature review

Again, well done. Your review contains a lot of meta-reflection of the resourses - not only the information on content but also on the usefulness and limitations of the resource (from this "usefulness" point of view). If doing so, especially American culture of writing stresses importance to reflect also credibility of the resource, its quality in terms of critical or biased views presented.

Your approach is labour intensive, but gives you a good perspective of your future work - now, you probably know what information to select for your purposes, and what should be searched for to complete the context.

The other possibility is to concentrate directly on content: select important parts of the text (in this stage could be copied) and work with them in further stages. But I agree that this might be dangerous as you could more probably take over the original author's opinions.

Good luck in future stages! --Jana Dlouha 13:14, 21 January 2011 (CET)

Foreword

The way you approach the problem is very emphatic and kind to every creature. Objectively, you have understood a lot from the local situation in both cases, and what is good, you have developed an interest in these far distant problems. It is obvious that you are personally affected by the situation, and if someone desires a kind of solution, and is ready to work for it, then success is almost inevitable. You have also mentioned some hidden problems that will probably have negative effects in future - that is a core of deep understanding. Well done!

January, 7th, 2011


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