Diversifying into Technical Clothing Manufacture: A Situated Learning Theory Perspective
Paper i proceeding, 2012

An organisation’s ability to internalise external knowledge and learn from various sources in undertaking new product development and/or entering a new market is crucial to its competitive performance. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to how growth-oriented small firms identify and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities, i.e. take entrepreneurial action, related to such methods of development, in a mature, contracting industry. The latter is particularly relevant to recent discussion and debate in academic and policy-making circles concerning the salvage of the clothing manufacture industry in developed industrialised countries, by intensifying efforts relating to diversification into high value manufacturing sectors. This paper, based on an instrumental case-firm, demonstrates analytically how learning as entrepreneurial action relating to diversifying into /technical clothing – i.e. a high value manufacturing/innovatory sector - takes place, drawing on situated learning theory. It is argued that learning relating to such entrepreneurial action is dynamic in nature and is founded on specific organising principles that foster both inter- and intracommunal learning.

technological capabilities development

High-value manufacturing

situated learning theory

communities of practice.

technical clothing manufacutre


Nicholas Theodorakopoulos

Aston University

Nada Kakabadse

University of Northampton

David Bennett

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management

Catarina Figueira

Cranfield University

Breno Nunes

Aston University

Khalil T, Hosni Y and Hung S-C (Eds) “Managing Technology-Service Convergences in the Post-Industrialized Society”, Proceedings of 21st International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology, IAMOT / National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.





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