R&D framework for an intelligent fabric sample management system: A design science approach

Ka Leung Moon, Wai Ting Ngai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the problems encountered by clothing merchandisers in managing fabric sample resources, and analyses their expectations of and requirements for a desirable management solution. It then aims to consider the architectural design of an intelligent fabric sample management system prototype, and the development of a construction and implementation plan for a fashion enterprise to install the system. Design/methodology/approach: A three-stage methodological approach is adopted. The first stage is a preliminary study using in-depth interviews with potential system users; the second involves the architectural design of a five-component system prototype; and the third develops a multi-phase construction and implementation plan using a case study. Findings: Four categories of problems in the management of fabric sample resources are identified, the system architecture is designed, and a construction and implementation plan is proposed. Managerial and theoretical implications are also discussed. Practical implications: The design process of the research and development (R&D) framework enables fashion enterprises to obtain a deeper understanding of their operations in managing fabric samples and to make wiser decisions in resource allocation. By taking the specific needs of system users into consideration, system solution developers are able to design tailor-made software packages that are intelligent, user-friendly and user-oriented. Originality/value: Through a logical and systematic process of designing the R&D framework, the paper identifies some "technological rules" which links up the practice of solving an industrial problem with the formulation of substantive theories. This adds to the application of design science research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-743
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2010


  • Fabric production processes
  • Fashion industry
  • Research and development
  • Samples

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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