Systems Thinking and Scenario Planning: Application in the Clothing Sector

  • Rosiane Serrano
  • Luis Henrique Rodrigues
  • Daniel Pacheco Lacerda
  • Priscila Bonalume Paraboni
Original Paper


Industrial sectors that operate in uncertain environments - with demand variability, product seasonality and different industrialisation structures - need studies that enable identification and forecast trends. Therefore, the development of competitiveness extends beyond a company’s individual performance. Collective action, whether toward consumer markets, supplier markets, competitors and substitutes, can reinforce or help reformulate the current practices of an organisation, besides providing better results in the development of strategies and competitive positioning. Thus, clothing, the sector addressed in this work, is characterised by a long, fragmented, heterogeneous production chain, the competitiveness of which is linked to product differentiation. Therefore, the use of systemic approaches to study this sector is effective. In this sense, this research aims at adapting Systems Thinking and Scenario Planning (STSP) so that it supports the development and planning process in a given sector. Thus, this research applies STSP adapted to an analysis of the clothing sector in the northern region of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. As a result, in academic terms, this research proposed and validated a method for analysing industrial sectors of the clothing industry. In the sectoral context, this research identified elements that leverage the sector’s competitiveness, besides generating knowledge and learning aimed at strengthening the sectoral structure identified, and fostering the formation of a new clothing cluster.


Clothing sector Systems thinking Scenario planning Sector competitiveness 



Serrano, Rosiane, the author of this article is grateful to IFRS - Campus Erechim (Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio Grande do Sul - Campus Erechim) for the financial support to the development of this paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of the Rio Grande do SulErechimBrazil
  2. 2.Production and System Engineering Graduate ProgrammeUniversidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOSSão LeopoldoBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de Estudos Sistêmicos do Brasil – IESBPorto AlegreBrazil

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