Management: Social Responsibility At Lululemon Athletica
Lululemon Athletica is a Vancouver-based company specializing in the design, production and manufacturing of quality clothing lines for men and women engaging in sports and some related activities. The company, after ten years of business operations, is presently having a market value of more than $220 million. This financial success is greatly attributed to the innovative business strategies and sound leadership the management has adopted for the past years.
Chip Wilson, the founder of the Lululemon Athletica, has considered several factors in the operations and management of the business, from production to manufacturing and up to sales of the products, which greatly contributed to its success. Wilson believes that the company must take the lead in creating a socially responsible and ethical business entity. Leadership, as a principle, serves as the company’s guide in the realization of its mission and vision. Accordingly, leadership is a “process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.
Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills” (Concepts of Leadership). It can be noted that the company has applied some concepts of sound and able leadership in its overall management. Most noted among these leadership beliefs are the provision of best products and service, being socially responsible for the customer, creating a healthy and harmonious environment and community, support to human resources through capability development program, and maintaining credibility through the ethical behavior the company observes.
Wilson emphasizes that leadership carries with it an obligation and responsibility. With this, he asserts to the middle management and the whole staff that the company has a social responsibility to the customers. He claims that one way of doing it is through the total and comprehensive packaging of the products to include the design and quality aimed at giving comfort and satisfaction to the customers. He contends that with these objectives in mind, the company will achieve credibility and integrity in the business world.
In the product design and materials, for example, the company has carefully selected technologically advanced fabrics and organic fiber clothing for athletes, men, women and those engaging in yoga activities to make them feel better and look amazingly great. The products, as claimed by users, have psychological effects on their personality, health and sports performance whenever they wear them. Lululemon Athletica values its customers as the most important person in the business.
Along with this leadership belief, the company inspires both the customers and its own people to serve the customers and prospective buyers better. It creates some awareness from the people through the worthwhile activities like the Community Legacies and Charitable Giving programs aimed at building a healthy and productive community where customers become active and indirect participants vouched by the company’s products.
Reference Concepts of Leadership. Accessed 05 Nov 2008, at: http://www. nwlink. com/~Donclark/leader/leadcon. html