The Resilience of Sri Lankan Apparel Manufacturers: A Global Value Chain and a CSR Perspective

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


This research is to support understanding Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers unique path towards growth, which combines value chain upgrading with ethical business practices. The overall aim of the research is to understand how Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers achieved resilience using two key strategies, value chain upgrading and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The research meets its research objectives through an extensive literature review followed by the analysis of empirical data. A template analysis technique is primarily used to meet the research objectives of the study. Value chain upgrading and CSR strategies to achieve resilience, together with their underlying reasons and constraints, are explored in this study. The underlying reasons include technology and skills, linkages with foreign buyers, government regulation, spirituality, and consumer concern for ethical sourcing. The overall understanding of Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers’ resilience is further strengthened by the identification of new underlying reasons that were not found in the literature. New underlying themes, such as sustainability as well as government support, provide a deeper understanding of the literature findings of the value chain upgrading and CSR aspects of Sri Lankan apparel. Emerging issues were also key in terms of the study findings. These include factors such the cost-focused strategy of international buyers and the role of culture in terms of a value chain perspective. Based on the findings, it is evident that Sri Lankan apparel has remained resilient due to its focus on CSR as well as value chain upgrading. At the same time, future research needs a greater focus on exploring how Sri Lankan apparel can continue to grow in this path while remaining cost-competitive with its international counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Science
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
  • Sinkovics, Noemi , Supervisor, External person
  • Sinkovics, Rudolf , Supervisor, External person
Award date15 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2015


  • resilience
  • Global Value Chains
  • apparel industry


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