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The performance of the theory of constraints methodology: Analysis and discussion of successful TOC applications

Victoria J. Mabin (Victoria Management School, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Steven J. Balderstone (Accenture Australia Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 June 2003

Abstract

The theory of constraints (TOC) is a multi‐faceted systems methodology that has been developed to assist people and organisations to think about their problems, develop breakthrough solutions and implement those solutions successfully. This paper describes a literature‐based research project examining the results of TOC applications reported in the literature. In particular, it presents here the results of a meta‐analysis of over 80 successful TOC applications, based on available quantitative data, which showed that significant improvements in both operational and financial performance were achieved as a result of applying TOC. Despite extensive searches, the research found no reports of failures. While reports are mainly from manufacturing organisations, the findings may be generalisable to other types of organisations, particularly to their operational aspects. The paper concludes with an agenda for future research on the use of TOC in operations and production management.

Keywords

Citation

Mabin, V.J. and Balderstone, S.J. (2003), "The performance of the theory of constraints methodology: Analysis and discussion of successful TOC applications", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 568-595. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570310476636

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MCB UP Ltd

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