Analysis of the Antecedents of Corporate Social Irresponsibility in the Fashion Industry

  • Fuyan Wu

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


ABSTRACT The globalisation of the economy and the increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability are fostering a demand for more corporate social responsibility (CSR) from companies. But many companies still engage in irresponsible corporate activities; researchers use the academic term corporate social irresponsibility (CSIR) to refer to environmentally and socially irresponsible behaviours. This thesis proposes a relationship among firm performance, slack resources and CSIR, and explores the internal mechanism of their relationship to see whether it exerts there is a mediating effect. The result is an empirical analysis to make the theoretical framework of CSIR antecedents more systematic, by exploring whether firm performance is an antecedent of CSIR and whether slack resources have a mediating effect on the relationship between firm performance and CSIR, thus making the theoretical framework of CSIR's antecedents more systematic. Due to the serious environmental pollution and frequent CSIR, the thesis compares results from the fashion industry context with those of all industries to assess their consistency. This thesis contributes to the existing theoretical framework of CSIR antecedents by illustrating that firm performance is an essential antecedent of CSIR; quantifying firm performance as return on assets RoA (the profitability of total assets), return on equity RoE (the profitability of shareholder equity) and Tobin's Q (the future growth capacity of the firm based on market value), and describing their respective relationships with CSIR. In addition, after controlling for mediating variables, a mediating effect of slack resources on the relationship between firm performance and CSIR has managerial implications for developing effective sustainability strategies. Also, there is a negative and significant relationship existing between RoA and Tobin's Q-quantified-firm performance and CSIR in the fashion industry. At the same time, there is no significant correlation exists between RoE and CSIR. Otherwise, slack resources exert no significant mediating effect in the fashion industry.
Date of Award31 Dec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAmy Benstead (Supervisor) & Hsin-Ju Tsai (Supervisor)


  • CSIR
  • Firm Performance
  • Slack Resources
  • Mediation Effect
  • Fashion Industry

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