The purpose of this paper is to develop a theory of the organizational changes related to the production‐planning process that facilitate application of form postponement (FP), an increasingly popular operations‐design principle meant to alleviate the negative impact of product variety and customization on operational performance.
To achieve the theory‐building objective, a multiple‐case study involving four cases in the machinery industry was designed. In the inductive theory‐building process, the authors borrowed from the information‐processing theory to further corroborate the internal validity and generalizability of the findings.
The theory proposed by the author indicates that greater utilization of lateral relations in the production‐planning process, higher production‐planning frequency, greater degree of self‐containment of the production‐planning task, and simplification of the production planning‐related environment favor application of FP.
The level of analysis of the theory is the production‐planning process of a product family within a company. Future research could extend inquiry of the organizational antecedents of FP at both higher and lower levels of analysis, such as the organization as a whole or the individuals participating in the production‐planning process.
The theory supports managerial decision making by suggesting how to redesign the organization part involved in the production‐planning process of a product family in order to apply FP. The difficulty and cost of this organizational redesign effort should be taken into account when companies consider FP implementation.
Past research has focused on changes to product design and to the manufacturing and supply chain process that enable FP. This paper augments the understanding of FP enablers by developing the first model of organizational antecedents of FP. It also responds to calls for more research integrating insights from organization theory and operations/supply chain management.
Trentin, A. and Forza, C. (2010), "Design for form postponement: do not overlook organization design", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 338-364. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443571011029967Download as .RIS
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