Fire in Bangladesh Garment Factory

Fire in a Bangladesh Garment Factory

Case Analysis

Vanessa Greer Springfield

University of Maryland University College

AMBA 660 Summer 2014: Section 1141

July 20, 2014

      The Bangladesh garment industry is the second largest exporter in the world.   The industry is expected to export $20 billion 2013.   It employs 3.5 million people with 80% of the employees being women.   Many retailers have chosen to have their garments made in Bangladesh because of the cheap labor.   The minimum wage is about $38 per month (Montopoli, 2013).
      In November 2012, a factory fire, caused by faulty wiring, killed 112 people. Based on information from the International Labor Rights Forum, this fire is just one of a dozen since 2005, bringing the total death to more than 900 people (Montopoli, 2013).   This tragedy could have been prevented with proper escape routes, safety equipment, and fire safety knowledge.
      This brings to light the debate regarding who is to blame for such tragedy. Many believe that the accountability lies with the businesses that contract with these factories.   Others think it rests with the consumers. But still, there are those who believe that, ultimately, the responsibility lies with the factory owners and the home country’s government. Responsibility, yours, mine, and ours, is the debate in the case of “Fire in a Bangladesh Garment Factory” (Inkpen, 2013).

Social, Ethical, and Political Risks
Social, ethical, and political risks are intertwined; one will affect the others, as in this case, the factory fire has promoted an agreement between retailers and government entities to provide a safe working environment.   A good manager will study the risks before making decisions that will impact his/her company.   The three risks will be discussed accordingly below.
      A brand name takes time to build, but mere seconds to ruin. The primary risk in this case is the reputation associated with the...