An investigation of Chinese textile firms’ R&D performance

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:

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to enhance the understanding of Chinese textile manufacturers' research and development (R&D) performance. Specifically, the study empirically examined (a) current trends of R&D activities in the Chinese textile industry; (b) R&D intensity among Chinese textile firms and determinants of its variation; and (c) R&D effectiveness among Chinese textile firms and factors impacting it. The research results are based on survey data from 768 textile manufacturers located in a Southeastern County with a mature textile and apparel cluster. Logistic regression was employed for data analyses. The results showed that R&D investment levels among Chinese textile firms are relatively low in comparison with advanced textile industries in developed countries. Chinese textile firms with international operations had a higher R&D intensity, or investment level, than those without international operations. Foreign ownership and financial resources were not significant predictors of the firm's R&D intensity. Chinese textile firms that relied on acquiring new machinery/technology and were involved in internal R&D activities were more likely to have higher R&D effectiveness, which translated into positive profit margin. The R&D intensity did not contribute significantly to R&D effectiveness. To offset increasing production cost and sustain its diminishing low-cost comparative advantage, the Chinese textile industry's next step is to focus on R&D. The study offers strategic directions to the industry and policy makers that might be helpful to keep the industry competitive in the global marketplace.

Additional Information

Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 30(3), 217-231
Language: English
Date: 2012
China, textile industry, research, development

Email this document to