Moving the Goalpost: How the Collapse of Rana Plaza Altered Attributions of Responsibility in Bangladesh

Erin Leitheiser

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Much of the study of business irresponsibility has explored the active, purposeful actions of business that result in corruption, scandal or the like. Less explored is how external factors can impact the very concept of (ir)responsibility for business. Using the case of the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse, this paper explores how previously responsible business practices were swiftly and decisively deemed irresponsible. The variety of company responses to the crisis – denial, diffusion or duty – demonstrate what companies’ assumed their responsibilities to be, yet in the case of the first two, fell short of increased expectations. This is significant because it demonstrates how external factors alone can change notions and attributions of responsibility (move the goalpost) as well as the effort needed to meet these new expectations. Overall, this shift illustrates the further politicization of business in society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2016
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventThe 32nd EGOS Colloquium 2016: Organizing in the Shadow of Power - Napoli, Italy
    Duration: 7 Jul 20169 Jul 2016
    Conference number: 32


    ConferenceThe 32nd EGOS Colloquium 2016
    Internet address

    Cite this