This study investigates the adoption of technological innovation, as well as the rise of accounting, management and organisational innovative practices in the luxury high-fashion industry, basing our analysis on the iconic brand Brioni. Grounded in the prior literature on the history of innovation and customisation, we develop a socio-technical analysis of the relocations, technology innovations and production transformations in 1959–1979. In this period–recalled by fashion historians as full of technical, production and process innovations–the company built a production-consumption chain organised around the strategy of demand-pull product customisation, by adopting and adapting technologies imported from elsewhere, and deployed by the work of hundreds of local tailors and seamstresses in tandem with external foreign trainers. We argue that the continuous ‘Art of Interessment’, which sustained technological, product and process innovations, was promoted by a team of ‘judiciously chosen Spokespersons’, who helped to translate company policy into practice, thus expanding production, controlling costs, reducing the manufacturing cycle and improving quality. The socio-technical investigation illustrates the pivotal role played by the rise and spread of innovative accounting and labour practices for customers of variable taste, size and geometry. In a related manner, the study highlights the building of a new architecture of performance management and quality information systems which, in tandem with changing accounting practices, helped to sustain Brioni's success across the observed two decades. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Accounting, the ‘Art of Interessment’ and the ‘Good Spokesperson’: innovation in action in luxury high fashion (1959–1979)

Sargiacomo, Massimo
2018

Abstract

This study investigates the adoption of technological innovation, as well as the rise of accounting, management and organisational innovative practices in the luxury high-fashion industry, basing our analysis on the iconic brand Brioni. Grounded in the prior literature on the history of innovation and customisation, we develop a socio-technical analysis of the relocations, technology innovations and production transformations in 1959–1979. In this period–recalled by fashion historians as full of technical, production and process innovations–the company built a production-consumption chain organised around the strategy of demand-pull product customisation, by adopting and adapting technologies imported from elsewhere, and deployed by the work of hundreds of local tailors and seamstresses in tandem with external foreign trainers. We argue that the continuous ‘Art of Interessment’, which sustained technological, product and process innovations, was promoted by a team of ‘judiciously chosen Spokespersons’, who helped to translate company policy into practice, thus expanding production, controlling costs, reducing the manufacturing cycle and improving quality. The socio-technical investigation illustrates the pivotal role played by the rise and spread of innovative accounting and labour practices for customers of variable taste, size and geometry. In a related manner, the study highlights the building of a new architecture of performance management and quality information systems which, in tandem with changing accounting practices, helped to sustain Brioni's success across the observed two decades. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/694523
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