Journal Article

Domestic capabilities and global production networks in the clothing industry: a comparison of German and UK firms' strategies

Christel Lane and Jocelyn Probert

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 4, issue 1, pages 35-67
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/SER/mwj030
Domestic capabilities and global production networks in the clothing industry: a comparison of German and UK firms' strategies

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In this paper we examine the sourcing strategies of clothing firms in the developed economies of the UK and Germany in the context of their national institutional framework. We argue that, as a result of their embeddedness in divergent national structures, these firms pursue different sourcing strategies and make different locational choices. We place particular emphasis on the different mix of arms' length and relational contracting that firms develop, and on the divergent degree of control over the manufacturing process and the product that they retain. We suggest that the construction of global production networks and control over supplier firms is mediated by co-ordinating firms' product strategy and the degree of dependence on national retailers this engenders. UK and German firms and their networks differ not only from each other but also from the US case which is often taken as representative of the industry.

Keywords: clothing industry; global production networks; capabilities; JEL classification: L14, L23, L67

Journal Article.  12442 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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