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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
In this issue three papers provide insights from research into the measurement and management of performance in different manufacturing contexts. In the first Knotts, Jones and Udell investigate the usefulness of a “balanced approach” to assessing performance for small manufacturers that had attempted to become suppliers to the mass merchandiser market. The results suggest that while the balanced approach is useful in evaluating small suppliers, the reliance on only firm-related items is not as effective as an approach using an instrument that also includes product-specific measures. Firms with superior management and products were more successful in reaching a merchandiser’s shelves than those with poor ratings in each area.
In the second paper Kazan, Özer and Çetin investigate the impact of different manufacturing strategies on the financial performance of manufacturing companies in the Gebze area of Turkey. In addition to identifying the most significant strategies affecting financial performance of that sample of companies, the paper also found that firm size influences the magnitude of the impact of the different strategies.
Bilalis et al. continue the manufacturing strategy theme. However they look at the competitiveness of the textile industry in three European countries. They demonstrate how excellence award criteria can be applied to compare industry competitiveness and identify improvements required to improve overall competitiveness. The paper concludes by identifying opportunities for the textile industry to learn from other industries in order to close the significant competitiveness gap that was found to exist.
Insights from practice
In this issue one paper reports insights from practice. Samuelsson, Ekendahl and Ekevärn report their research in Swedish construction company Skanska. In their paper they investigate the alignment of strategy and operational level priorities and found that issues of importance vary at these different levels. They demonstrate the need to understand different priorities at different levels and the need to reconcile these differences if strategic objectives and local priorities are to be satisfied.
Focus on human resources
This issue is concluded with two articles relating to human resource issues. Vouzas reports the current status of TQM and strategic human resource management practices in Greek organizations. He reviews literature connecting these two strands of management before reporting empirical findings that suggest that the evolution of thinking in each field are similar but that generally HR practice in Greece is not well developed.
Finally, Schiuma, Bourne and Harris who report their research into to the value of international workers to multinational companies. They argue that this is a field that has seen very little research and propose an integrate approach that managers can use to plan and evaluate international assignments for their employees.
Mike Bourne, Mike Kennerley