How knowledge is transferred within the Danish fashion industry: Taking a knowledge management perspective on the creative design process

Jonas Kissling Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


thesis explores how creative knowledge is transferred in practical within the creative design process in three Danish fashion houses. This interest has led to the following research question: How is creative knowledge transferred within the creative design process of the Danish fashion house? And how are challenges of managing creative knowledge overcome? The method used to answer the research questions, was inspired by Eisenhardt’s (1989) Building Theories from Case Study Research. Three cases have been used for the research: 1. IC Companys – a multinational fashion house 2. Cat-Kahrs – a start-up fashion house 3. Baum und Pferdgarten – an emerging fashion house Semi-structured interviews were conducted with designers, marketing people and art directors in each fashion house. After conducting within case analyses and cross-case analysis five findings that pertain to their creative knowledge transferring processes could be addressed: F1: All three fashion houses approach the initial phase of acquiring information and knowledge from the fashion network similarly. F2: Creative knowledge is transferred similarly within all three fashion houses. F3: Creative knowledge is difficult to express and transfer as it is based on emotions. F4: Creative knowledge within the fashion industry stems from a ‘noisy’, ever changing and uncertain environment from which it is difficult to learn. F5: Overcoming these challenges of transferring creative knowledge, knowledge is transferred in open spaces face-to-face in small teams of creative people that make it vital to interact. These findings reveal new areas that are not yet covered by knowledge management literature. New directions for knowledge management include research on how complex knowledge described as ‘knowing as sensing’ where feelings, perceptions, emotions, and the ability to improvise creatively and hunches accrued by humans in ‘noisy’ and uncertain environments are transferred within the Danish fashion industry.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages90