League Collegiate Wear Goes to Central America

League Collegiate Wear Goes to Central America: A CSR Approach Towards Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in El Salvador

Peggy Takahashi, Dan Blakeley, Kimberly Rae Connor,, Meredith O’Hare
November 11, 2019
Latin & South America, North America
Ethics & Social Justice, Strategy & General Management
24 pages
corporate social resonsibility, CSR, ethics, conscious capitalism, stakeholder, leadership
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The two founders of League Collegiate Outfitters [League], based in Bridgeport PA, were all-in on their attempt to launch a financially and socially responsible enterprise in El Salvador. With the founding of League Central America [LCA], a wholly-owned manufacturing facility, they intended to provide employment along personal and professional development opportunities to marginalized segments of the population. The Company’s strategy included a systematic effort to hire former gang members and other marginalized workers. Their products were marketed exclusively through University bookstores in the United States.

LCA management was interested in assessing current operations and the extent to which they have successfully addressed the overall needs and goals of the Company. Dependent on the outcome of this evaluation was the strategic question as to whether there existed an operational template, based on the El Salvador experience, that could be duplicated by LCA in other regions of Central America or elsewhere. Despite the pressing need to expand production output, management did not want to lose sight of their founding principles.

Due to the pressing need to expand capacity, LCA recently (mid-2015) expanded operations by constructing a second level on the existing factory in Ciudad Arces. This stop-gap measure is not expected to satisfy the longer-term need to expand capacity. Management is now assessing operations and considering a second facility, either in El Salvador or other countries in Central America. Asia is not being considered due to the separation between design and production operations, as well as increased shipping delays and inventory/working capital requirements.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Learn to evaluate the alignment of Mission and Goals with the operational challenges of reaching out to a diverse array of marginalized employees in a lessdeveloped country.
  2. Enhance their critical thinking skills by analyzing experiences of LCA management and design strategies to expand operations.
  3. Learn to identify various stakeholders and the role management policies play in addressing their specific needs.
  4. Recognize and explain the features of a CSR approach to management that are illustrated in the case, including the principles of Conscious Capitalism.
  5. Address the importance of moral leadership in establishing a corporate culture and developing a managerial decision-making technique based on the corporate mission.
  6. Understand the central roles management practices play in creating a culturallyhumble corporate culture and how ethical management practices can advance the goals of the corporation.
  7. Describe the organizational culture based on the values and goals of the founders and how they contend with extenuating socio-economic circumstances, historical context, and a diverse and initially divisive workforce.
  8. Find the moments that the founders made key moral decisions and ascertaining whether these decisions benefited or harmed the profitability and sustainability of the company.
  9. Weigh the costs and benefits from a moral and a business perspective, identify and apply qualitative and quantitative measures to evaluate the success of both.