The Tunisian textile industry: local responses to internationalisation.
Anderson, Alistair R.
Harbi, Sana El
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ANDERSON, A. R., HARBI, S. E. and BRAHEM, M., 2012. The Tunisian textile industry: local responses to internationalisation. European Journal of International Management, 6 (5), pp. 525 – 541.
The continuing internationalisation of the textile industry has reduced the labour cost advantages of Tunisian clothing firms. These firms have a precarious position in the international value chain, often as subcontractors and only rarely contributing high value inputs. To remain viable in the hyper competition wrought by internationalisation, firms must cut costs further or adopt an entrepreneurial approach. We examined 103 small Tunisian textile firms to find how they have responded to international competitive pressures. Our conceptual framework is entrepreneurial orientation. Employing multiple correspondence analysis and typological analysis, we identify clusters of approaches. Our typology shows three distinctive types: innovators, potentially innovative, passive imitators and a further ambiguous group. Our results show that different small firms have responded in different ways to the threats and opportunities of globalisation. However, many Tunisian firms have improved their position in the international supply chain by innovation strategies, rather than simply focusing on cost reduction.