To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Antecedents and consequences of combinative competitive capabilities in manufacturing

Nan (Chris) Liu (ConAgra Foods Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, USA)
Aleda V. Roth (College of Business and Behavioral Science, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA)
Elliot Rabinovich (W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 15 November 2011



Extant manufacturing strategy research dichotomizes the trade‐off model and the cumulative model, but fails to explain each strategic result. The purpose of this paper is to propose four key antecedents of a trade‐off versus a cumulative model by manufacturing business units (MBUs), and in turn, their association with business performance.


The authors first review literature pertaining to the history and major themes of manufacturing strategy. Next, the authors present a theoretical model with explanations of the methodology and research design used. The model is empirically tested, and conclusions, managerial implications, and future research opportunities that stem from this research effort are provided.


Strategic time orientation, as well as manufacturing practices of supply chain integration intensity and advanced manufacturing technology, are empirically found to be associated with MBUs' combinative competitive capabilities. More specifically, manufacturers following these practices are more apt to realize higher levels combinative capabilities, as depicted by the cumulative model.


The paper shows that these manufacturing practices may extend the time within which the MBU reaches its capability frontiers, and therefore, increase the odds that it can exploit its current resources. Moreover, MBU size negatively moderates the relationship between advanced manufacturing technology and the cumulative model.



Liu, N.(C)., Roth, A.V. and Rabinovich, E. (2011), "Antecedents and consequences of combinative competitive capabilities in manufacturing", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 31 No. 12, pp. 1250-1286.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited