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Opportunities and Challenges of the Textile Industry in the Knowledge Economy: Towards a Network Company Model

María Pilar Martínez (

Consultant professor in Economics and Business Studies at the UOC
Visiting lecturer in the Marketing and Market Research Department of the University of Valencia

Ana Isabel Jiménez (

Professor in Economics and Business Studies at the UOC
Director of the Business Administration and Management Programme at the UOC
Academic Co-Director of the Master’s Course in Marketing Management and Communication at the UOC


The social and economic changes that have given rise to the development of the knowledge society and economy have had a special impact on companies. As the principal economic agent, they have been forced to undergo a significant process of change with the spirit of adapting to the new environment and providing a response to the new challenges that are appearing.

As one of the internal resources of organisations, ICT have taken on a fundamental role in this process, leading to the appearance of a new organisational and management model known as the network company. This model is characterised by the establishment of more flexible organisational structures, faster, more efficient and more economical production processes, and strategic models based on the generation and use of information and knowledge.

Due to its economic importance, the clothing industry has not been outside the process of change that has occurred, constituting in fact a clear example of the above model. Today, clothing companies are among the organisations that have best adapted to the new competitive environment. As a matter of fact, the particular characteristics of the industry and their high dependency with regard to the market have led to the new organisational and management model becoming the cornerstone on which to base their competitiveness and Information and Communication Technologies to become one of the principal resources for achieving this.


clothing industry, knowledge economy, network company, ICT

Submission date: January 2006
Published in: March 2006

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