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World‐class manufacturing project: overview and selected results

Barbara B. Flynn (Wake Forest University, Winston‐Salem, North Carolina, USA)
Roger G. Schroeder (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
E. James Flynn (Wake Forest University, Winston‐Salem, North Carolina, USA)
Sadao Sakakibara (Keio University, Tokyo, Japan)
Kimberly A. Bates (New York University, New York, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 July 1997



A number of authors have used terms such as “world‐class manufacturing”, “high performance manufacturing” and others to describe comprehensive approaches to manufacturing performance improvement. They have broken new ground by introducing the notion of broad, organization‐wide improvement approaches, involving many complex interrelationships. However, testing the associated relationships is just beginning. The WCM Project seeks to articulate the practices which are associated with world‐class manufacturing and their interrelationships. In this attempt, a number of studies have been conducted, using the comprehensive database developed for the project. Provides a detailed examination of the development and verification of the database, which contains perceptual and objective information about quality, JIT, technology, strategy, organization characteristics and human resource management practices of 42 plants in the machinery, electronics and transportation components industries. It also provides a brief overview of three of the studies conducted as part of this project, dealing with: manufacturing process innovation; the relationship between quality practices and performance; and the relationship between TQM and JIT. Each of these highlights specific practices which are related to performance, as well as relevant infrastructure characteristics.



Flynn, B.B., Schroeder, R.G., Flynn, E.J., Sakakibara, S. and Bates, K.A. (1997), "World‐class manufacturing project: overview and selected results", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 17 No. 7, pp. 671-685.




Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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