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Flexibility – A Manufacturing Conundrum

Terry Hill (London Business School)
Stuart Chambers (University of Warwick, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 February 1991


The word “flexible”, when viewed in an industrial context, although accepted by users and suppliers equally, does not bear uniformity of meaning, as different types of flexibility require different manufacturing responses. Change can be capacity‐related, induced by customers or equipment‐related, and a manufacturing strategy may involve price, and/or speed and reliability of delivery. However, although types of flexibility may interrelate and conflict with one another, organisations must ensure that their investments produce the benefits appropriate to their markets.



Hill, T. and Chambers, S. (1991), "Flexibility – A Manufacturing Conundrum", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 5-13.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited