How to manage the dispute in clothing industry



By Mengshu Qiao

SKEMA Business School

Paris, France



The clothing industry is expanding to every corner of the world. The trend of outsourcing is still on its way. However, the dispute between owner and oversea outsourcing contractor is becoming a tough problem. Problems like environment pollution, labor environment and intelligence protection are three main issues causing dispute between owner and contractor. When the dispute happens, the production process is heavily affected and delayed. So it is urgent to solve them in an appropriate way. Here, by referring to different documents, we choose six feasible alternatives. Combing with certain criteria, we select the best alternative, which is prevention in advance by using Compensatory model of Additive Weighting Technique. We believe it would be the most efficient way to solve the dispute from the root.

Keywords: dispute resolution, clothing industry, contract, international, outsourcing, environment


The consumption of garment is a rigid demand. However, the most influential brands do not equal to the biggest clothes producers. The typical way is that the brand owners they just designed and marketed them but outsources production factories overseas where the work was done at a tiny fraction of the cost. In 2015, China was the top ranked global textile exporter with a value of approximately 106 billion U.S. dollars.[1] However, oversea outsourcing contractors not always make their job flawless. Different disputes may happen between the owner and contractor.

  1. Problem definition:

Here, I found three typical problems:

  • Problem ONE: About the local environmental pollution

The materials that are involved in the clothing industry have an influence on the environment. Many synthetic materials are derived from petroleum. For example, jeans are way much dirtier behind the shiniest appearance. That denim wash appearance is the result of a several chemical-intensive combinations. The process of printing and dyeing involves such heavy metals as cadmium, lead and mercury.

  • Problem TWO: About the local labor human right

The lack of protection for workers in the labor-intensive clothing producing industry lead to many problems. Many workers in Indian factories earn so little that an entire month’s wages would not buy a single item they produce. Except the low salary, physical and verbal abuse is usual, not mention other welfare. Such behavior will bring in the invention from government, leading to complicated political cost and brand reputation cost.

  • Problem THREE: About the Intelligence Property

Product life-circle in clothing industry is really short, together with increased competition, producers are forced to be even more initiative in terms of innovation. Usually the owner makes new fashion with the help of powerful creative designers and modern technology, as well as marketing campaigns. When it is outsourced to factory, imitators get used of the owner’s original idea, and they do not often have a quality product. And the consumer they are not aware the reality, so they will leave a bad impression on the owner. Such behavior has a very bad influence brand image and customer loyalty.

All in all, the management of the dispute above is non-excusable and should be regulated appropriately and efficiently in the level of contract. So to summarize, the purpose of this research is to answer the following questions:

  • What are the different alternatives to resolve disputes in clothing industry in the level of contract?
  • What is the most suitable dispute process in this particular industry? And why?


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Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Qiao, M. (2018). How to manage the dispute in clothing industry, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VIII – August.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Qiao-how-to-manage-dispute-in-clothing-industry.pdf


About the Author

Mengshu Qiao

Paris, France





Mengshu QIAO is a PGE student in SKEMA Business School, major in Project and Programme Management & Business Development (PPMBD). She graduated from Jinan, China and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation Study. In 2016, she has worked for Veolia Campus, a renewable energy company, as knowledge management assistant in Zhuhai, China. She has also worked for NGO AIESEC for the project “Explore China”. She has both project management and translation study background. She lives in Levallois Perret, France now, and can be contacted at [email protected]


[1] Top 10 textile exporting countries | Statista. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/236397/value-of-the-leading-global-textile-exporters-by-country/