Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate analytically how entrepreneurial action as learning relating to diversifying into technical clothing - i.e. a high-value manufacturing sector - can take place. This is particularly relevant to recent discussion and debate in academic and policy-making circles concerning the survival of the clothing manufacture industry in developed industrialised countries. Design/methodology/approach - Using situated learning theory (SLT) as the major analytical lens, this case study examines an episode of entrepreneurial action relating to diversification into a high-value manufacturing sector. It is considered on instrumentality grounds, revealing wider tendencies in the management of knowledge and capabilities requisite for effective entrepreneurial action of this kind. Findings - Boundary events, brokers, boundary objects, membership structures and inclusive participation that addresses power asymmetries are found to be crucial organisational design elements, enabling the development of inter- and intracommunal capacities. These together constitute a dynamic learning capability, which underpins entrepreneurial action, such as diversification into high-value manufacturing sectors. Originality/value - Through a refinement of SLT in the context of entrepreneurial action, the paper contributes to an advancement of a substantive theory of managing technological knowledge and capabilities for effective diversification into high-value manufacturing sectors.
Bibliographical noteThis article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear herehttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/JMTM-09-2013-0122. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- communities of practice
- diversification capabilities
- entrepeneurial action
- entrepreneurial learning
- high-value manufacturing
- technological knowledge management