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Exploratory case studies on manufacturing agility in the furniture industry

Riadh Azouzi (Forest and Wood Sciences, Laval University, Quebec, Canada)
Robert Beauregard (Forest and Wood Sciences, Laval University, Quebec, Canada)
Sophie D’Amours (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Laval University, Quebec, Canada)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Article publication date: 27 March 2009




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the agility of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs) in furniture enterprises, and explores the appropriateness of a typology framework that correlates the technology infrastructure of the enterprise with its manufacturing strategy.


This paper uses a clear and rigorous case study design and protocol. Empirical data are collected using structured surveys of two strategically selected furniture enterprises. The collected data are used to analyze the fit between the technology infrastructure of the enterprise and its strategic goals, and how this fit correlates with the theoretical categories stated by the typology.


The case studies suggest that enterprise performance could be maximized if the competitive priorities and the customization strategy put in practice are in conformity with the available technology.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the case studies corroborate the all inclusive hypothesis suggested by the typology. The lack of triangulation of multiple data sources for more confidence about the results or the typology framework itself remains a limitation in this study. The two cases were representative to a certain extent of two out of the three theoretical ideal types stated by the typology.

Practical implications

The explored typology can serve as a supporting tool for managers when making strategic investment decisions in their pursuit of a mass customization strategy within a specific market.


The originality comes from the way the properties that should be displayed by the technologies used in furniture manufacturing enterprises to develop agility are drawn together.



Azouzi, R., Beauregard, R. and D’Amours, S. (2009), "Exploratory case studies on manufacturing agility in the furniture industry", Management Research News, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 424-439.



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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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