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Towards a Unified Theory of Strategic Manufacturing Management

M.T. Sweeney (Cranfield School of Management, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 August 1991



There is a need for a unified theory of the strategic management of manufacturing. Current theory encourages the strategic management of manufacturing by seeking to match the use of production resources with the need to satisfy the order winning criteria of the target markets. Such an approach suggests but one strategic role of manufacturing. The purpose of this article is to use previous research findings on a taxonomy of generic manufacturing strategies, the author′s own research and recently published academic theory to propose a unified theory of strategic manufacturing management. The theory links competitive strategy with four strategic roles of manufacturing. A strategic planning model is proposed to facilitate the preparation of a development plan which will not only enable manufacturing to support the competitive strategy of the firm but also to establish a strategy for manufacturing‐led competitive advantage.



Sweeney, M.T. (1991), "Towards a Unified Theory of Strategic Manufacturing Management", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 11 No. 8, pp. 6-22.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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