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Title: Investigating clothing sector interrelationships : a study focused on industry specific technology use
Author: Hussey, Clare Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 6741
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2008
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This study has evolved from the researcher's clothing industry experience and interest in the development of technology use. It aims to discover clothing industry interrelationships and knowledge of industry practice using sector specific technology use as the vehicle. Opinions have been obtained from across the clothing industry, taking into account perspectives from regional Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSME), the high street retail sector, relevant government agencies and technology providers. For the purpose of this research the term clothing industry is used to describe an industry that is considered to have three main sectors: design, manufacture and market. Gaining an overview of each sector was essential to investigate industry interrelationships, processes and practices. A valid depiction of the industry was required to understand how each sector perceives both the internal and global perspectives. As the research required opinions from a variety of industry segments, selected industry representatives were identified. The resulting approach was to structure the research into three elements. The data collection process followed a chronological order: consideration of the MSME clothing sector, which comprised of a preparatory exercise incorporating a developmental approach that included a section that collected, compiled and recorded relevant industry terminology and also a process mapping technique designed to elicit knowledge of internal practice; a questionnaire devised to understand industry technology suppliers; investigate retail sector technology usage, a preliminary questionnaire was followed by a semi structured interview; conducting three sector specific focus groups utilising refined findings from prior elements; final summative interview to discuss outcomes of the focus group sessions. This incremental knowledge building approach was devised to utilise a combination of basic quantitative findings as subject matter for further qualitative analysis within a summative interview. This study presents an insight into the unique knowledge base existing across three industry segments within the clothing sector through analysis of terminology, process maps and topic related discussions. The findings obtained realised there are critical issues surrounding MSME businesses and technology use, therefore identifying need and opportunity for change. The main contributions of the study are: development and implementation of the incremental research strategy; the identification of issues affecting the use of technology in the MSME sector of the clothing industry; realisation that the industry community has dissipated with the shift in industry focus; presentation of potential solutions to improve product visibility between user and provider.
Supervisor: Hilton, Kev Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W200 Design studies