The purpose of this paper is to study how, in recent decades, manufacturing sites have reacted to changes in their business environment by developing their management practices. This also makes it possible to predict the behavior and lifecycles of the new practices adopted by companies.
The study is longitudinal, conducted in 1993, 2004 and 2010. It used a standard questionnaire, based on the “Made in Europe” benchmarking study. The results were analysed by Friedman's rank order method. The use of a three (or more) data‐point longitudinal study is the clearest way to reveal changes in, and the behaviour of, the practices.
The data suggest that there is a lifecycle for the practices used in companies and that many of the practices adopted in the late 1990s are already out of date. However, personnel‐related practices seem to last longer than process‐related practices. Furthermore, these practices seem to follow the curve of the Bass diffusion model.
The results are restricted to the sample which is quite small in size, but gives a good insight into the changes occurring within it. This research excludes new practices adopted in recent years, and uses only the questions designed for the first year in which the study was conducted. However, its purpose is to show the evolution of some practices in the form of a unique, longitudinal study. The study also indicates the lifecycles of the practices included in the sample.
This study is the only longitudinal study in its field to use data from three different time periods. It can thus look into and analyze change from a unique perspective.
Kuula, M., Putkiranta, A. and Toivanen, J. (2012), "Coping with the change: a longitudinal study into the changing manufacturing practices", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 106-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443571211208597Download as .RIS
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