Title: International sourcing effectiveness in the fashion industry: the experience of Italian industrial districts

Authors: Corrado Cerruti, Emanuela Delbufalo

Addresses: University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Columbia 2, 00133 Rome, Italy. ' European University of Rome, Via degli Aldobrandeschi 190, 00163 Rome, Italy

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of supply chain governance mechanisms on international sourcing effectiveness, with specific reference to Italian fashion districts. The internationalisation of the supply chain is challenging the traditional governance approach of district firms – mainly based on informal mechanisms – and seems to stimulate the adoption of innovative supply chain management practices. Our goal is to investigate – by using a Delphi method – how SMEs in Italian fashion districts are developing a mix of informal-formal governance approach in order to manage the higher complexity of an international supply chain. To pursue this research objective we use a conceptual framework developed from Uppsala|s internationalisation process model. Considering the above, the article focuses on two key areas of international supply chain management: interorganisational knowledge-sharing and risk management. Thus, it summarises the learning process fashion SMEs are experiencing in managing their international supply chains.

Keywords: industrial districts; fashion SMEs; sourcing effectiveness; supply chain management; SCM; internationalisation; knowledge sharing; risk management; fashion industry; small and medium-sized enterprises; international sourcing; Italy; governance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2009.032261

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2009 Vol.3 No.4, pp.427 - 440

Published online: 18 Mar 2010 *

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