Manufacturing textile futures: adaptation, competitiveness and the evolution of UK technical textile firms

Ronayne, Megan Gwyneth (2016). Manufacturing textile futures: adaptation, competitiveness and the evolution of UK technical textile firms. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Manufacturing continues to be the fabric of the UK economy, as firms have transformed and restructured themselves in response to new forms of competition, alterations in consumer demand and new technological developments. This thesis applies Evolutionary Economic Geography (EEG) approaches to the UK Technical Textile (TT) sector to investigate the adaptation and evolution of UK TT firms. TT is a higher value-added and advanced segment of the textiles industry. The thesis blends EEG approaches with the Resource-Based View (RBV) of the firm into a new conceptual framework to develop a novel firm-centered approach to understanding firm-based competitiveness and evolving economic geographies of manufacturing. This theoretical blend highlights how a focus on routines (EEG) must be combined with an understanding of resources and capabilities (RBV) to theorise firm behavior. A detailed comparative firm-level analysis of 40 TT firms located across the UK identifies the adaptation processes and drivers behind firms diversifying into the manufacture of TT. This thesis makes an empirical and theoretical contribution to understanding how the adaptation processes of firm’s routines are an evolutionary process to firm-based competitiveness, in response to changes in their external economic environment.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School, Department of Strategy and International Business
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
T Technology > TS Manufactures


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