Stakeholder Influences on the Sustainability Agenda of Garment Companies in the Swedish Textile Industry

Sofia Björklöv & Lovisa Lindgren

Student thesis: Master thesis


The textile industry is known for dirty and unethical operations, hence, garment companies are often confronted with stakeholder demands regarding the industry’s economical, environmental and societal impacts. The purpose of this research is to assess the different stakeholder influences and analyze how these affect the sustainability agenda of garment companies in the Swedish textile industry. Scholars have emphasized the need to further investigate how external influences, derived from stakeholders, affect sustainability practices in garment companies operating in the textile industry. The concepts of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are used interchangeably in this research.
The theoretical framework is the point of departure when addressing the studied phenomenon. The stakeholder theory outlines which specific stakeholder groups companies should consider in their sustainability agenda. By including these groups in the stakeholder dialogue, companies can capture the relevant concerns of stakeholders and incorporate these stakeholder claims in the implementation process of sustainability decision.
Empirical data is collected through semi-structured interviews using a multiple case study design wherein eight Swedish garment companies are studied. The analytical framework is based on the process of thematic analysis by searching for frequent patterns of meaning in the data collection.
The outcome of the analysis indicates that stakeholder groups influence the sustainability agenda of garment companies in the Swedish textile industry differently. It is also possible to match specific stakeholder influences to concrete sustainability practices of garment companies. Nevertheless, the collected data suggests that there might be a synergy effect based on collective stakeholder influences affecting the sustainability practices.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages207
SupervisorsPeter Neergaard