Supply Network Structures and SMEs: Evidence from the International Clothing Industry

  • B. L. MacCarthy
  • P. G. S. A. Jayarathne


Many different types of supply networks have been discussed in the literature. However, their relevance for SMEs has not been discussed in detail. This chapter briefly reviews supply network typologies and their relevance for SMEs. Analysis is presented of supply networks in the international clothing industry that has emerged over the last three decades to supply garments to global markets. Such networks include highly powerful entities such as major retailers as well as many smaller players. They operate with different structures and different operational strategies, and practices. The chapter considers the operation of these networks and their implication for SMEs. Sri Lankan clothing manufacturers operating within retail-driven international supply networks are described. The role of SMEs and how they collaborate with larger players in these dynamic networks are discussed. The chapter concludes with policy implications for government authorities and the business community. Important research directions are highlighted for the academic community.


Supply Network Case Company Quality Assurance Process Prime Company Apparel Manufacturer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nottingham University Business School University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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