Joeone Company Ltd.: Business Model Innovation in the Chinese Fashion Industry
(8 pages of text)
From its humble beginnings as a start-up in China’s Jinjiang County in 1989, Joeone Company Ltd. (Joeone) had grown to become the country’s best-selling producer of men’s pants. Over the past three decades, the company’s founder and chairperson had faced several substantive turning points, including a quality crisis, a period of mediocre growth, and the need to enhance the sophistication of the company’s management approach. These turning points led to continuous business model innovation through the three stages of creation, sustaining innovation, and efficiency. By June 2019, the company was doing very well: an initial investment of ¥720,000 had built a company with sales of ¥500 million by the end of 2003, and the company had been publicly traded since its initial public offering in 2011. Clothes from Joeone’s three brand platforms were sold via direct sales channels in key cities and through major online shopping channels. However, the founder was still grappling with questions of how to align the company’s strategy to ensure its long-term success. Against the backdrop of pressures to further increase efficiency, expand the business (potentially internationally), and respond to changes in the larger competitive and political environment, how could the company sustain its competitive advantage and further improve its operational efficiency and flexibility? What lessons from the past 30 years could be applied to the company’s next 30 years of growth?
This case would fit well into courses at the undergraduate or graduate levels, specifically into those courses covering aspects of (global) strategic management, international business, entrepreneurship, or leadership and organizational behaviour, including organizational culture, organizational change, and similar subjects.
After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Identify crucial transition points within a firm’s corporate history, and assess the business model innovation approach taken to organizational change during these transitions.
- Describe the effects of an individual’s leadership style on a company’s evolution.
- Explain how a company’s embeddedness within an ecosystem can shape its success, especially in a Chinese context.
China, Large, 1989-2019
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