Plotting CSR narrative: CSR stories by global fashion brands after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh

Angela Mak, Suwichit Chaidaroon

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


After the tragic collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013, many global fashion brands that outsourced to Bangladesh’s garment factories performed corporate social responsibilities in order to help the victims and local communities as well as to restore their images as they were arguably responsible for the disaster. This paper employed two interrelated textual analysis approaches to examine CSR videos of the related fashion brands. First, narrative plots and characters were analyzed to identify how heroes and dilemma (or social issues) were framed. Second, multimodal discourse analysis was performed to investigate how meanings were constructed and made salient through multimodal features in the videos. Three distinct narrative patterns were found among CSR stories told by fashion brands involved in Rana Plaza directly (the wrongdoers), brands that were not involved directly (the malefactors), and brands that were not involved at all (the heroes). Our interpretations suggest that digital media serve as a multimodal communication platform for CSR narratives to reach their maximum dramatic effect from constructing the heroes and framing the dilemmas that the Bangladeshi victims faced especially when the narratives are authentic, transparent, and engaging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicating Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Era
EditorsAdam Lindgreen, Joelle Vanhamme, Rebecca Watkins, Francois Maon
Place of PublicationNew York ; Oxon
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315577234
ISBN (Print)9781472484161
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2016


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