For centuries, production in the apparel industry has been shifting from one location to another; every time, it drives the economy, but simultaneously damages the environment and creates inequality. The apparel industry has given some emerging economies, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and China, a boost. However, not all of these countries could achieve the same benefits, reflecting the variable ability of companies in different countries to improve their capabilities, to internationalize, and to ensure sustainability in production, processes, and industry structure. The importance of the apparel industry to many emerging economies warrants research on apparel companies, their internationalization strategies, capability development and sustainability.
Taking a firm perspective that focuses on managers, employees, foreign retailers, and institutional actors, our book aims to integrate three different, but interrelated THEMES: (a) internationalization of firms, (b) firms’ capability development, and (b) the sustainability of suppliers’ production, process, and products.
The apparel industry plays a pivotal role in ‘developing economies’ in terms of revenue generation and employment. We focus on firms from developing countries / emerging economies. Some common questions that our book plans to cover are: (1) how do apparel-manufacturing companies in developing countries internationalize, or why cannot they internationalize at a higher level, meaning what factors impede their advancement in internationalization process? (2) How do supplier firms develop different types of capabilities and what factors and conditions influence the development of their capabilities? (3) How do firms ensure sustainability in the apparel industry and what factors affect sustainable product and production in the apparel industry, which may include not only firm factors but also local and global institutional factors, technological factors, changing market demands, labour conditions, and discourses as well as foreign retailers’ governance and compliance factors.
The aim of this book is to combine multiple disciplinary perspectives, ranging from operations management, socio-economics, economic geography and business management, to reflect the reality of global apparel industry from various theoretical lenses.