Competing through cooperation in international supply networks: a case study from the clothing industry
by Vasco Eiriz, Joao S. Areias
International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business (IJGSB), Vol. 2, No. 3, 2008

Abstract: This article focuses on the competitive and cooperative issues that arise from the management of interdependence within international supply networks. When small and medium manufacturers are dependent on a major retailer, their capability in allocating resources to build a competitive position is limited. Firms in this dependent position need to develop and implement strategies that enable them to deal with such dependence. The article presents a case study developed within the Portuguese clothing industry and explores evidence on how several small and medium manufacturers develop their relationships with Zara, a major international retailer. The case was studied based on document analysis and data gathered through semi-structured interviews with several clothing manufacturers. The case identifies factors that influence the development of collaboration in international relationships between manufacturers and retailers, and discusses how manufacturers integrated in the supply network manage their interdependence and develop their competitive capacity through a cooperative approach.

Online publication date: Fri, 22-Feb-2008

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