Manufacturing strategy configurations: stability and trends of change

Cagliano, R., Acur, N. and Boer, H. (2003) Manufacturing strategy configurations: stability and trends of change. In: EUROMA-POMS, One Word? One View if OM?, 2003, pp. 53-63.

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The literature widely debated the importance of studying manufacturing strategies in terms of strategic configuration, i.e., coherent sets of priorities pursued by the companies. While the literature proved both empirically and theoretically the stability of a set of manufacturing strategy configurations, studies on the specific choices made by companies over time are lacking. This paper aims at analysing the stability of strategic configurations selected by companies over a 10 years period of time. Three different longitudinal samples from the IMSS database help to identify and study patterns of change from one strategic configuration to the other. Empirical evidence shows that companies are mostly seeking strategic flexibility, changing their set of priorities over time. The most stable strategies are the ones based on differentiation, while the pure focus on cost reduction or the multi-focused strategy of "do all" are not stable configurations. INTRODUCTION The theory about Manufacturing Strategy evolved significantly since the seminal work of Skinner (1969). This contribution put forward the basic elements of the definition of manufacturing strategy, the decision areas faced by manufacturing managers, and the principles that drive manufacturing choices. Based on this model, a number of authors (e.g. Buffa, 1984; Hayes and Wheelwright, 1984; Fine and Hax, 1985; Schroeder et al., 1986; Hill, 1989) contributed to the advancement of the discipline, both through empirical research and theoretical studies. The traditional model is partly questionable, because of its limited power of capturing and interpreting internal links among the elements of manufacturing strategy, i.e. the internal consistency, and the links of manufacturing decisions with the external environment, i.e. external consistency (Bozarth and McDermott, 1998). In order to address this gap, a number of studies tried to explore the priorities of manufacturing strategy as manufacturing

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Acur, Professor Nuran
Authors: Cagliano, R., Acur, N., and Boer, H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management

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