Global Business Environment
Key requirements and task briefing information
•This assignment tasks require you to answer the following questions.
For the chosen industry, select and investigate one prominent geographical industry cluster, account for the cluster’s international prominence (drawing on relevant theories) and explain the role it plays within wider global production networks.
I will select “The clothing industries” and this topic for this assessment. And please use some relevant theories in this assessment. The PDF is about the clothing industries and please read the PDF first. It must use some cases or examples on this assessment. Thank for very much.
Note that the assignment question requires you to explore how a key global industry has been affected one or more of the core module topics.
As some of the chapters in Global Shift are relatively broad in scope, it may be advisable to narrow the scope of the industry you are investigating; if you do so, this should be clearly explained in the introduction of your assignment.
• To succeed in this assignment task, you will have to:
o Display a good grasp of the question requirements, clearly direct the material in your answer towards the question and answer all aspects of the question.
o Undertake detailed research and investigation on the chosen industry, using reputable sources, to enable you to identify and analyse the relevant features and patterns.
o Demonstrate a good grasp of relevant concepts from the academic literature and utilise these concepts effectively during your assignment (e.g. to provide analytical insights).
o Present an assignment with a clear and logical of structure that is written coherently and persuasively in good academic English.
o Achieve a high standard of presentation and follow referencing conventions.
You are strongly advised to carefully consult the assessment criteria grid (on page 17) for further guidance on expectations, before commencing work on your assignment!
Use numbered headings and sub-headings throughout to clarify the structure of your assignment and help guide the reader.
Include an introduction that clearly explains your approach to the question and previews the key themes to be covered and explains the structure of your answer.
• Also include a conclusion which briefly summarises your key arguments and conclusions in relation to the key question requirements,
Write in paragraphs and use clear, concise sentences with plain English wherever possible. Leave a line break between each paragraph. Long, overly-complex sentences, containing multiple phrases, should be avoided. Each paragraph should focus on one key theme or argument only. As a rule of thumb, a paragraph should not normally extend beyond 10 lines and/or 4 or 5 sentences. Keep ‘jargon’ to a minimum and define any key academic terms
You are strongly encouraged to use tables and figures with supporting information and other exhibits but these should be presented professionally and referred to in the text of your answer. Figures and tables should be numbered consecutively (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, etc), given a meaningful title and the source should be clearly indicated (normally immediately below the exhibit). Consult reputable academic journals such as Journal of International Business Studies or International Business Review to see how it should be done.
THE CLOTHING INDUSTRIES
The clothing production circuit
Global shifts in the clothing industries
Changing patterns of consumption
Production costs and technology
Variations in labour costs
Characteristics of the labour force and conditions of work
The role of the state and the Multi-Fibre Arrangement
An international regulatory framework: the Multi-Fibre Arrangement
Corporate strategies in the clothing industries
A highly fragmented industry – but increasing retailer dominance
Changing relationships between buyers and suppliers
Strategies of US, European and East Asian companies
East Asian firms
Regionalizing production networks in the clothing industries
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The Picture in Different Economic Sectors
On 1 January 2005, the clothing industries entered a new era. The special inter-
national framework which had regulated virtually all trade in the industries for
four decades – the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) – ceased to exist. Trade in
clothing (as well as in textiles) was no longer to be subject to import quotas. This
represented a massive change in the rules of the game. Cries of anguish emanated
from developed country producers, fearing annihilation through competition
from developing country producers, especially in Asia, and most of all from China.
On the other hand, developed country retailers were more sanguine, viewing with
enthusiasm the prospect of being able to buy their garments more cheaply. But it
was not only developed country producers that feared the repercussions of the
MFA abolition. Many developing countries had been able to survive in these
industries only because they had some degree of quota protection. Without that
they, too, feared the Chinese dragon.
In fact, the clothing industries exemplify many of the intractable issues facing
today’s global economy, particularly the trade tensions between developed and
developing economies. It is not difficult to see why. Millions of workers are
officially employed worldwide in the clothing industries, in addition to count-
less unregistered workers, employed both in factories and in their own homes.
These industries were the first to take on a global dimension because of the low
barriers to entry to clothing production; in the 1970s, they epitomized the so-
called ‘new international division of labour’.
These industries continue to be
important sources of employment in the developed economies, employing
many of the more ‘sensitive’ segments of the labour force: females and ethnic
minorities, often in tightly localized communities. In developing countries the
industries employ predominantly young female workers in conditions that
sometimes recall those of the sweatshops of nineteenth-century cities in Europe
and North America.
The clothing production circuit
The clothing industries form part of a larger production circuit involving textile
production, in which each stage has its own specific technological and organiza-
tional characteristics and particular geographical configuration (Figure 10.1). The
clothing industries are far more fragmented organizationally than textiles and far less
sophisticated technologically. They are also industries in which outsourcing is espe-
cially prominent. Very often the design and even the cutting processes are performed
quite separately from the sewing process, the latter being particularly amenable to
outsourcing. The garments industries produce an enormous variety of often rapidly
changing products to a very diverse, and often unpredictable, consumer market.
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