Anti-sweatshop campaign images and supply chain traceability: a study of global fashion retailers

  • Thu 5 Oct 23

    11:00 - 13:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Professor Chris van Staden, Auckland University of Technology

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Andre Lino

The aim of the Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) research seminar series is to support our world-class research activities in five key areas: accounting and global development; capital Markets, audit, regulation & reporting; publicness and resilience, precarity, exclusion & social justice; and environment, climate change & vulnerability. The seminar series is also expected to promote inter-disciplinary research that links the work of members of the centre with others both within the university and with external institutions.

Seminar summary

We investigate the influence of image-based protests by ethical activists and anti-sweatshop activists on traceability in relation to the supply chains of global fashion retailers. Traceability, a key part of organisational transparency, is the desire and the ability to publicly observe the entire production process, including the origin of the products, factory locations, the origins of raw materials and the conditions under which labour is used for manufacturing, and so on. This research builds on past scholarship based largely on social movement theory within the sociology literature and on the disclosure and transparency literature within the field of accounting, by highlighting the notion of ideologically focussed social movements, espoused in Gramscian philosophy. We find that image-based protests by anti-sweatshop activists significantly influence traceability in relation to the production facilities of global fashion retailers in our sample. Image based protests highlighting production facilities located in the worst countries for workers’ rights is the most significant. Our findings therefore show evidence of the influence of anti-sweatshop activists, using protest images, on the traceability of supply chain information. Social movement activism and actions are therefore important influences on corporations to be socially traceable (i.e., revealing information that can be used to track and trace social issues) and play an important part to create change in corporate social transparency.


How to attend this seminar

This seminar will take place on Thursday 5 October 2023 at 10am.

We welcome you to join us in person on our Colchester campus, room 5A.118.

If you can't make it in person you can also join us online.


Speaker bio

Professor Chris van Staden

Chris van Staden is a Professor of Accounting at the Auckland University of Technology. He teaches courses in Financial Accounting, Social and Environmental Accounting and Research Methods to undergraduate and post graduate students. His research focuses on corporate disclosure of information, especially environmental and social disclosures. He has published in international refereed accounting and management journals including Accounting, Organizations and Society, the Journal of Management, European Accounting Review, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, the British Accounting Review, the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Cleaner Production, Accounting and Business Research, and Accounting Forum, amongst others. He is the recipient of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at AUT Excellence in Academic Research Award for 2017 and the Faculty Research Excellence Award in 2018. His research has been cited more than 5,500 times and is internationally recognised.