Managing Creativity at Shanghai Tang

In: Business and Management

Submitted By alexwlyeung
Words 1467
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Innovation and creativity are one of the key successful elements in the recent rapid changed environment, and in fact innovation and creativity are changing our world. Since the innovation and creativity are playing an important role in the business world, the conflict between the creative technical employees (creators) and the businessmen (stewards) is increasingly hindering from the business development. Like Shanghai Tang, the conflicts are usually found between its designers (creators) and its management (stewards).

As an international clothing chain company, its product design is one of the key successful factors in its competitive industry. In order to build-up a unique fashion style, Shanghai Tang develops two key components which its products are contained: Chinese-ness and the use of bright colors, and so-called “Shanghai Tang DNA”. However, its designers blamed that this Shanghai Tang DNA constrained their creativity in various areas, including the brand consideration, sales considerations and production cost consideration, etc.

Positioning is no doubt a critical business strategy. However, the creators argued that their designs always have to be Chinese-oriented and European influence is hardly accepted in the final design approved by the management. The creators think that the Shanghai DNA hinders their own creative ideas and inspirations and hardly accept their creative design which is out of the management mind to maintain the brand image.

Shanghai Tang will avoid certain types of fabrics, colors and designs based on the historical sales performance. The creators argue that the sales figures from similar previous designs represented the past but did not predict the future in fashion sense, and the products will be the similar if they just produce what the customers want. However, the historical data give guidelines to the stewards on…...

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