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Digital Challenges for the Small and Medium Enterprises of the Textile and Clothing Industry in Portugal


  • João Leitão

    (Universidade da Beira Interior)

  • Carlos Osório

    (Universidade da Beira Interior)


Nowadays of increasing functioning of network competitors, the Portuguese Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) of the Textile and Clothing Industry are facing new digital challenges. In order to strengthen their market power and reduce their dependence on foreign subcontractors, they should create a brand mark image. Inside this new digital and interactive context, they should interact with their consumers and take full advantage of the opportunities provided by new communication and media networks, by implementing Intranets and Extranets as privileged systems of external communication with clients, suppliers, and partners in competitive environment. This essay analyses their competitive advantages. With this purpose, TOWS Matrix’s Model is used for tracing dominant strategic alternatives and convenient recommendations aimed at managers and public administrators, taking in to consideration the changes actually operated in the new economic platform, namely Internet. The Portuguese Government has been committed to foment entrepreneurship and act as a unifying agent, which could work together with SME to pursue the creation of a selective set of Portuguese brands which might better represent “Made in Portugal” products. Furthermore, the Textile and Clothing Industry should be promoted by incentives for the entrepreneurship of SME production enhancement with specifically innovated products, in upstream connection with the main raw materials suppliers, in order to foment Cluster Networks and Technological Poles. Besides, the downstream connections should be supported by the construction of a vertical chain sheltered by a selective set of Portuguese brands supported and promoted by national responsible agents. This is a sine qua non condition to create a classic and electronic International Store Chain, which could offer the SME products the needed visibility.

Suggested Citation

  • João Leitão & Carlos Osório, 2001. "Digital Challenges for the Small and Medium Enterprises of the Textile and Clothing Industry in Portugal," Industrial Organization 0110002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0110002
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC - PC- TEX/UNIX Sparc TeX; to print on HP/PostScript/Franciscan monk; pages: 12; figures: included/request from author/draw your own

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    Strategic Planning; Textile and clothing; TOWS Matrix;

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • M2 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics
    • M3 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising

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