Manufacturing process flexibility revisited

Roger W. Schmenner (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Mohan V. Tatikonda (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Publication date: 1 December 2005



To provide an update on a paper published in 1987 in IJOPM.


Provides an assessment and update of “An agenda for research on the flexibility of manufacturing processes”.


Gerwin's seminal work added welcome rigor to a concept, manufacturing flexibility, which had gained prominence during the previous decade. Finds that many of Gerwin's insights have stood the test of time. A number of things have changed since that time, but others have remained much as they were. Machines have become more capable and computer‐based controls have improved machine and process flexibility, but the character of that flexibility has remained very much the same.


Revisits Gerwin's conceptualization of manufacturing process flexibility and subsequent progress in understanding it.



Schmenner, R. and Tatikonda, M. (2005), "Manufacturing process flexibility revisited", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 25 No. 12, pp. 1183-1189.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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