The Top 10 Reputation Crises of 2013

By Suzanne Woolley and Ben Steverman - 2013-11-15T18:07:38Z

Photograph by Jeff Holt/Bloomberg

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No. 3: The Rana Plaza factory, Bangladesh

On April 24, the collapse of an eight-story warren of garment factories killed 1,127 workers in Bangladesh. Since then, coalitions of companies in North America and Europe have banded together, including Gap Inc., Macy's and Wal-Mart Inc., which joined the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, to develop new safety and working codes for their suppliers. The Alliance has launched a five-year, nearly $50 million initiative to set new standards, according to a spokesperson. The undertaking "will lead to significant fire and building safety improvements for factory workers by creating common standards,” Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Gardner wrote in an e-mail. 

Private regulatory mechanisms such as these often spring up in response to pressure from the media or non-governmental organizations, says Diermeier, and are increasingly common in countries where traditional regulatory approaches are absent or ineffective. 

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