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Productivity improvement and multiple management controls: evidence from a manufacturing firm

Michael Güldenpfennig (Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)
Kim Sundtoft Hald (Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)
Allan Hansen (Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 7 May 2021

Issue publication date: 19 August 2021

411

Abstract

Purpose

The present paper explores the multiple management control systems (MCSs) involved in productivity improvement (PI) in manufacturing and how they interrelate. Research has largely neglected the multiplicity and interrelationships of these MCSs.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on an abductive case study approach, the authors collected empirical data from a global automotive supplier that produces complex systems for passenger cars. Recent PI activities are analysed to identify and explain the interrelationships among the multiple MCSs affecting these activities.

Findings

The study shows how a broad range of MCSs are involved in PI. The study identifies and explores both complementary and conflicting relationships among the MCSs and demonstrates how managers rely on a set of mechanisms to alleviate tensions and strengthen complementarities among these MCSs.

Research limitations/implications

As this paper is based on a single case study, future research can contribute further generalisations (analytical and statistical) with respect to the MCSs involved in PI, how they are interrelated and which mechanisms managers use to manage their interrelationships.

Practical implications

Managers seeking to control and improve productivity should consider the complete control package and its interrelationships instead of focussing on each MCS separately.

Originality/value

The present paper contributes to the knowledge of the multiplicity and interrelationships of MCSs involved in PI and the type of managerial work required to manage their interrelationships.

Keywords

Citation

Güldenpfennig, M., Hald, K.S. and Hansen, A. (2021), "Productivity improvement and multiple management controls: evidence from a manufacturing firm", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 991-1017. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-09-2020-0667

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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