Executive decision-making in fashion retail: a phenomenological exploration of resources and strategies

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elena Karpova, Putman & Hayes Distinguished Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: PurposeDecision-makers must be well-informed to successfully impact the future of the business. The purpose of this study was to explore experiences of US fashion retail executives when making business decisions to understand what resources and strategies are utilized within the decision-making process. Additionally, the role of academic research within executive decision-making process was explored.Design/methodology/approachThis study utilized a phenomenological approach to understand the experiences of fashion retail executives when engaging in business decision-making. Fifteen US fashion retail executives participated in the study. Data were collected through in-depth individual interviews and thematically coded to gain a holistic perspective of the decision-making process within the fashion retail industry.FindingsAs the result of the data analysis and interpretation, three topical areas emerged:: “Incredible Amounts of Information,” “Industry Specific Academic Research” and “Have a Clear Road Map.” The findings suggested that while the facts gleaned from internal and external data are of great importance to fashion professionals, insights gathered from social media are equally influential within the decision-making process. The authors identified five major strategies utilized consistently by fashion retail executives regardless of the type of business they represented: collaboration, adaptability, speed, gut instinct and creativity.Research limitations/implicationsThe results are important to fashion retail companies for improving internal decision-making processes. The identified resources and strategies of the decision-making process can be incorporated into fashion program curricula and considered as learning outcomes when preparing future industry professionals.Originality/valueLimited studies have explored the decision-making process specific to the fashion retail environment, an uncertain and ever-changing industry. Further, the study shed light on the opportunity for academic research use in fashion retail decision-making and contributes to the literature by developing a fashion retail decision-making model.

Additional Information

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
Language: English
Date: 2021
Creativity, Decision making, Fashion, Retailing, Interviews, Strategy

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