Hard and Soft Investment for Optimal Business Performance

Acur, N., Boer, H., Laugen, B. T. and Gertsen, F. (2003) Hard and Soft Investment for Optimal Business Performance. In: of EUROMA-POMS, One Word? One View if OM?, 2003, pp. 3-13.

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There has been little research examining the relationship between a company"s strategy, processes, structure and their operationalisation through hard and soft investment. The central question addressed in this paper, therefore, is: Are there any 'ideal' configurations of investments in terms of hard and soft technology, and job and organisation design that result in a superior company performance for a given process environment? Answers to this question will not only help firms evaluate and see how their investments affect their performance but also increase their understanding of what might be new competitive objectives for their manufacturing function in the future. The paper starts with a review of the literature on the product-process matrix. Then the research design with the key variables is described. Next, the paper presents and discusses results. Finally, the main contributions of the paper are summarised and suggestions for further research presented. INTRODUCTION Since Skinner (1969) "rediscovered" manufacturing, operations management and strategy has developed enormously as a field of research and, indeed, today, manufacturing is recognised as an important enabler of corporate strategy. Voss (1995) presented three different paradigms of, i.e. ways of looking at, manufacturing strategy: Competing through manufacturing, which takes into consideration order winners, key success factors, capabilities, generic manufacturing strategies, shared vision. Strategic choices, which includes the contingency approach, internal and external consistencies, choice of process, manufacturing infrastructure. Best practices, including world-class manufacturing, benchmarking, business process re-engineering, total quality management, Japanese production methods.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Acur Bakir, Dr Nuran
Authors: Acur, N., Boer, H., Laugen, B. T., and Gertsen, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management

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