Stakeholder Management and Responsible Business Practices at Levi's Assignment

Explore how Levi's integrates stakeholder interests for sustainable growth in the fashion industry.

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Introduction Of Stakeholder Management and Responsible Business Practices at Levi's Assignment

The most important part of a responsible business is the stakeholder management of the particular company. Stakeholders are the people who are directly or indirectly involved and affected in the whole business process. The process of stakeholder management is a crucial component in any business where the business identifies its stakeholders and attempts to improve their relationship with the company. Stakeholders include CEO, owners, shareholders, consumers, employees, partners, financial institutions, retailers, wholesalers, research teams, technology providers and such.

In this essay, the topic of discussion will be a fashion company in the United Kingdom and its approach towards stakeholder management and how they include responsible business methods in their company. The fashion company that will be analyzed in this report is Levi’s. Levi’s is a fashion brand that mainly focuses on denim products in the United Kingdom. It was founded by Levi Strauss in 1853, and is now one of the top fashion brands with their products selling in over 110 countries.

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Discussion

Company’s Relevant stakeholders and their motivation and interests

The company of Levi’s is one of the biggest apparel brands in the world with a net revenue of 4.5 billion dollars. Levi’s now has many other brand names under them which include Denizen, Docker, Signature and Beyond Yoga. Levis products are sold worldwide in approximately 3000 retail stores in over 100 countries (levistrauss.com, 2023). As they are a worldwide brand, they have many employees spread over many countries. In a company of this size, there are bound to be millions of people involved in the outcome of the business. The relevant stakeholders for the company include consumers at the forefront, employees, wholesale and licensee partners, shareholders and prospective shareholders, suppliers and supply chain workers and NGOs and industry wide coalitions (Albats et al. 2020).

Levi’s has a wide range of consumers belonging from all over the world, which include online shoppers, retail store communicators, email newsletter subscribers, and the people engaging on the social media accounts. They employ about 14,800 employees in their company, who work from various corners of the world, majority of whom are from American and European regions. Their suppliers and wholesalers are independent contract manufacturers who are based from over 26 countries in the world (Lou et al. 2022). Investors and shareholders also form a very integral part of the decision making of the company as they have direct impact on the business process. The NGOs and industry wide coalitions also form an important part of the stakeholder management process. Each stakeholder of the company has their own individual interests and motivations. For the employees, it is about job satisfaction and reputation, for the consumers, it is about getting customer satisfaction, for the shareholders, it would be the value of the stocks and their profit.

This diagram indicates the stakeholder mapping of the company. It ranks the stakeholder in a power and impact scale. There are four sections: Keep Satisfied, manage closely, Monitor and Keep Informed.

Company’s approach to stakeholder management

Stakeholder management is the process of managing the expectation of the stakeholders in the business. According to the stakeholder theory, a business can run efficiently when it can optimize relationships with the stakeholders of the company (Pedrini and Ferri, 2019). In this section, it will be discussed how Levi’s as a company approaches stakeholder management.

Sustainability is the primary focus of the brand through which they integrate sustainable and ethical practices for the functions of the business relating to the stakeholders. The main aim of the company ultimately is customer satisfaction (Costello and Reddy, 2020). The company makes sure that the customers are engaged and provided with the best possible products and services keeping in mind the sustainable practices to be used. The employees on the other hand are the people who uphold the whole company. Levi’s as a company provides a lot of benefits to the employees to ensure a healthy working environment for them. They take active steps to look after the development of their employees and to meet their needs in the company. Levi’s stresses on the importance of diversity and inclusion in their workforce. They have employee resource groups in which they can address their grievances.

In case of suppliers, the company communicates regularly with their sustainability teams to keep it up to date to standards of the company. There are worker well being initiatives and regular workshops and training to keep a satisfactory relationship with them. Shareholders and prospective shareholders receive one on one engagement to be updated on the company reports and policies. The NGOs and brand industry coalitions are also kept updated on the sustainability practices through industry group roundtables and regular surveys (Carroll and Brown, 2022).

Company’s stakeholder management approach from the responsible business perspective

The approach of the company Levi’s from the perspective of a responsible business depends on the stakeholders and the company thinks that the sustainability program of the company requires the stakeholders the most. The insight of the stakeholder helps the company to refine its priorities and also make a meaningful initiative that can identify the main issues of the company.

Responsibility in terms of society: In terms of responsibility toward society it can be said that the company Levi’s tries its best to put the people, products, and profit through 100 countries over the world (Leonidou et al. 2020). The company promotes equality and also supports communities that are vulnerable, as a result, a better planet can be made.

The company Levi’s follows the CSR theory for the management of the stakeholders. The theories that they follow are given below.

  • Wellbeing of workers: In the year 2011, the company Levi Strauss and Co. started to fulfill their commitment and began to apply a supply chain that is more sustainable (KUPPUSAMY and SENTHIL KUMAR, 2019). This new approach can help the company members and the suppliers to get a better and healthy life.
  • Equality in the field of the economy: The company Levi’s finds a solution for the poverty that a massive number of people are suffering from. The company has decided to fund the asset of pioneering to help their programs and as a result, it can help the people who are financially poor.
  • Protection of the planet: The company is trying to reduce the usage of water in different sections of the company such as the industry of apparel and they have taken one step forward by using water reduction tools.
  • Recycling: Levi’s also uses the technology of recycling. They made particular jeans the company made in the recycling process; therefore, they can deliver more sustainable yet good quality clothes to everybody (Pedrini and Ferry, 2019).
  • Responsibility in terms of economy: Levi’s has partnered with local nonprofits as well as partners in over 12 countries and their mission is to spread awareness about financial empowerment, welfare programs related to family, and providing health care education as well. It can be said that there are almost more than one lakh women who are now working with Levi’s and are now financially independent.

The company thinks that the employees took a crucial part in the success of the business, therefore the company has decided to support its employees and suppliers to give them a better life and also help them to grow. Levi’s tries its best to give a better work environment to its employees (Levistrauss.com, 2023). Levi’s follows the policy of Respectful workplace policy and their aim is to provide a strong advantage to the employees. Besides, they also observe whether all the employees can perform their best.

  • Responsibility in terms of the environment: The company Levi’s is committed in terms of protecting the environment and also to decide the main environmental factors in their operations. As an example, the fields they are targeting are water, fuel, and electricity also. Levi’s also uses the technology of recycling and reuse for their clothes and also, they try to protect the biodiversity. In the annual climate report of Levi’s, the pollution level is vast and it is almost 1.1 million cars. The company is trying hard to reduce pollution by reducing the supply chain by 99%.

Stakeholder management of the company by using the Materiality Matrix

The requirement of each stakeholder group and their engagement has been done appropriately by this matrix. The requirements as per the importance of the stakeholders and its impact of the business on Levi’s has been discussed in this section. The 4 requirements of the stakeholders have been shown in the above figure which shows that consumer awareness is most important to the stakeholders and its impact on the business of Levi’s is the highest (Torelli et al. 2020). Climate change is the requirement that is of least importance for the stakeholders and its impact on the business of Levi’s is the lowest.

To rank the significance of Levi's engagement initiatives, determine the stakeholder groups' rankings in the Materiality Matrix. These stakeholders should receive high priority due to their significance to the organisation and their position of power and influence. Talk about their issues in-depth with them to find an effective solution (Guix et al. 2019).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be concluded that the company is sustainable and careful to its stakeholders. The company Levi’s takes very good care of its employees and observes whether they are getting the right environment to complete their work or not. Not only this but also Levi’s think for the economy of the company as they give increment to the employees and also tries so they can improve their health. Besides all of that, they also want to reduce the water wastage and also look after recycling. Moreover, it has also been seen that the stakeholder management approach incorporated by the company is very significant and by its implementation, the stakeholders become satisfied which in return will help the growth of the company significantly.

References

Journals:

Albats, E., Alexander, A., Mahdad, M., Miller, K. and Post, G., 2020. Stakeholder management in SME open innovation: Interdependences and strategic actions. Journal of Business Research, 119, pp.291-301.

Carroll, A.B. and Brown, J., 2022. Business & society: Ethics, sustainability & stakeholder management. Cengage Learning.

Costello, M. and Reddy, S.L., 2020. Sustainability efforts of denim brands Mud Jeans and Levi Strauss & Co. Sustainability in Fashion, 1(1).

Guix, M., Font, X. and Bonilla-Priego, M.J., 2019. Materiality: stakeholder accountability choices in hotels’ sustainability reports. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

KUPPUSAMY, G.K. and SENTHIL KUMAR, I.N.I.Y.A.N., 2019. Applying sustainable development on supply chain in apparel industries.

Leonidou, E., Christofi, M., Vrontis, D. and Thrassou, A., 2020. An integrative framework of stakeholder engagement for innovation management and entrepreneurship development. Journal of Business Research, 119, pp.245-258.

Lou, E.C., Lee, A. and Lim, Y.M., 2022. Stakeholder preference mapping: the case for built heritage of Georgetown, Malaysia. Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, 12(3), pp.291-308.

Pedrini, M. and Ferri, L.M., 2019. Stakeholder management: a systematic literature review. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 19(1), pp.44-59.

Pedrini, M. and Ferri, L.M., 2019. Stakeholder management: a systematic literature review. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 19(1), pp.44-59.

Stocker, F., de Arruda, M.P., de Mascena, K.M. and Boaventura, J.M., 2020. Stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting: a classification model. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(5), pp.2071-2080.

Torelli, R., Balluchi, F. and Furlotti, K., 2020. The materiality assessment and stakeholder engagement: A content analysis of sustainability reports. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(2), pp.470-484.

Websites

Levistrauss.com, 2023. Employee Well-being. About us, available at. https://www.levistrauss.com/sustainability-report/community/employee-support-and-development/ [ Accessed on 22nd May]

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