Leadership Beliefs about CSR at lululemon Athletica

BusinessManagement

  • Author Neaz Mujeri
  • Published September 16, 2021
  • Word count 855

Corporate social responsibility is defined as a commitment of the organization to act in accordance with what is right and wrong, thus serving both its own interest and the interest of the society (Schermerhorn & Wright, p 68). Lululemon Athletica, a Vancouver-based sports apparel manufacturer, is the epitome of organizational commitment to society and the community it serves. Today, the market value of the company is over $220 million, a sharp contrast to established notions that corporate profit-making are incongruent with corporate social responsibility. The following leadership beliefs channel the corporate social responsibility at lululemon Athletica: alternative criteria to measure corporate success, emergence of the company and its corporate culture, core values and vision of the company, training, and development of its stakeholders, and, finally, community-oriented activities of the company to create awareness.

First, the personnel at lululemon have come about alternative methods of evaluating the success of the company. Instead of following the classical view of defining success: management’s only goal is to maximize profits, lululemon has followed the socio-economic view of management’s responsibility which includes broader social welfare, not just corporate profits (Schermerhorn & Wright, p 70). To look at lululemon's success requires looking at the improved level of the communities it serves. For example, company CEO Chip Wilson welcomes and promotes the analysis of the improved health and well-being of the people in the communities in over 40 locations it serves worldwide (lululemon case, p1, para1).

Second, the emergence of the company and development of its corporate culture is based on the belief of serving the customers with athletic wear that is better fit and provides better value to customers. The lululemon phenomena started its journey in 1998 when it recognized an increase in the number of women taking part in yoga and other athletic sports. It came up with a strategy to design and develop athletic wear that were both better quality and better fit compared to competitors. It manufactured new and innovative sports apparel made with technologically superior fabrics that are long-lasting, better fit, and comfortable to wear. For instance, the company has succeeded in creating a brand image and a culture of customers who earnestly believes that wearing the products would help them achieve their athletic goals, lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle and feel better about self (lululemon case, p1, para2).

Third, the core values of the company, its mission statement and its vision for the future also strive to promote its socially responsible practices in the company and are an indispensable part of its leadership beliefs. The mission of the company is to provide the components that help people live longer, healthier and fun-filled lives (lululemon case, p1, para3). This mission is impelled by a set of core values promoting the high quality of its products, the integrity of the company, and the distinction that health, family, and work are inseparable in a person’s life (lululemon case, p1, para3).. For example, the company endorses a commitment to a yogi lifestyle based on the belief that every being on this planet are codependent and interconnected with each other. The company attempts to increase awareness of the benefits of yoga on our bodies and mind. For the millions of people who use lululemon products, and practice yoga, the company has provided them with a lifestyle trend, not just a fashion trend. The company also has a manifesto that it lives by – this public declaration of intent is displayed in each of its stores. It consists of a number of statements that provide support and empowerment of its educators and guests (lululemon case, p2, para2).

Fourth, Training and development of the educators and guests in order to provide them with the best possible shopping and product experience is high on the agenda of the organization. The leadership at lululemon believes that training the stakeholders including educators and guests is the best possible way to enhance their store and product experience at lululemon. For example, in order to enhance its shopping experience, both educators and guests are given the opportunity to take part in yoga classes in-store, educate people to know more about yoga, and recommending off-site yoga studios. The educators are also urged to put their own individual influence on the store display (lululemon case, p2, para1).

Finally, the company is deeply rooted in promoting ethical business practices, maintaining a healthy, entertaining environment in the communities it operates in. For example, the Charitable Giving Program at lululemon has been established to raise awareness of charities in the communities it serves. Guests of the store are the ones who choose which charities should receive donations. The store then selects eight out of the list of charities which would receive donations and support. Lululemon is also involved with the Centre for Integrated Healing – a charity organization dedicated to the prevention of cancer (lululemon case, p2, para 3).

The five mentioned corporate leadership beliefs have guided the company’s global success and will continue to promote the company’s commitment towards corporate social responsibility in the foreseeable future.

REFERENCES

lululemon case.(n.d.) Ethical Behaviour and Social Responsibility. Lululemon athletica.

Schermerhorn, J. & Wright, B. (2007) Management. Canadian Ed. Canada: Wiley.

Neaz Mujeri is pursuing his Executive MBA in Finance from Independent University, Bangladesh. He finished his Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada majoring in Economics and Management Science. Right now he is working as the Executive Director of an organization in Dhaka named Center for Research Initiatives that carries out socio-economic research especially focusing on the rural development sector and development economics. Link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neazmujeri/

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