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
situated learning theory
communities of practice.
technical clothing manufacutre