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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2009

Mattias Hallgren and Jan Olhager

Lean and agile manufacturing are two initiatives that are used by manufacturing plant managers to improve operations capabilities. The purpose of this paper is to…

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18145

Abstract

Purpose

Lean and agile manufacturing are two initiatives that are used by manufacturing plant managers to improve operations capabilities. The purpose of this paper is to investigate internal and external factors that drive the choice of lean and agile operations capabilities and their respective impact on operational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Lean and agile manufacturing are each conceptualized as a second‐order factor and measured through a bundle of distinct practices. The competitive intensity of industry and the competitive strategy are modeled as potential external and internal drivers, respectively, and the impact on quality, delivery, cost, and flexibility performance is analyzed using structural equations modeling. The model is tested with data from the high performance manufacturing project comprising a total of 211 plants from three industries and seven countries.

Findings

The results indicate that lean and agile manufacturing differ in terms of drivers and outcomes. The choice of a cost‐leadership strategy fully mediates the impact of the competitive intensity of industry as a driver of lean manufacturing, while agile manufacturing is directly affected by both internal and external drivers, i.e. a differentiation strategy as well as the competitive intensity of industry. Agile manufacturing is found to be negatively associated with a cost‐leadership strategy, emphasizing the difference between lean and agile manufacturing. The major differences in performance outcomes are related to cost and flexibility, such that lean manufacturing has a significant impact on cost performance (whereas agile manufacturing has not), and that agile manufacturing has a stronger relationship with volume as well as product mix flexibility than does lean manufacturing.

Research limitations/implications

Cross‐sectional data from three industries and seven countries are used, and it would be interesting to test this model for more industries and countries.

Practical implications

The results provide insights into the factors that influence the choice of lean or agile manufacturing for improving operations, and the results that can be obtained.

Originality/value

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first large‐scale empirical survey of leanness and agility simultaneously, using data from manufacturing firms in Europe, Asia, and North America. The model incorporates a wide perspective on factors related to lean and agile manufacturing, to be able to identify similarities and differences.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 29 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

A.E. Coronado Mondragon, A.C. Lyons and D.F. Kehoe

In recent years there has been a shift towards the inclusion of agile processes in the development of manufacturing strategies. This work explores the agility of operations

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3561

Abstract

In recent years there has been a shift towards the inclusion of agile processes in the development of manufacturing strategies. This work explores the agility of operations in four SMEs in high‐tech manufacturing and the impact made by information systems to agile performance in those companies. The study demonstrated that information systems are relegated behind other enablers of agility. Although information systems are often used to support agility, information systems in themselves are not sufficient to achieve agility in business processes. Furthermore, the case studies demonstrate that companies rely upon non‐IT attributes to improve the agility of their manufacturing operations. The results of the study suggest that information systems play a more significant role for enhancing agility.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 24 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Cécile L'Hermitte, Peter Tatham, Ben Brooks and Marcus Bowles

The purpose of this paper is to extend the concept of agility in humanitarian logistics beyond emergency operations. Since the humanitarian logistics literature focuses…

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1467

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend the concept of agility in humanitarian logistics beyond emergency operations. Since the humanitarian logistics literature focuses primarily on emergencies and sees longer term and regular operations as being conducted in relatively stable and predictable environments, agile practices are usually not associated with humanitarian protracted operations. Therefore, this paper explores the logistics and supply chain environment in such operations in order to identify their basic features and determine if agility is an important requirement.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study of the United Nations World Food Programme, the authors collected and analysed qualitative and quantitative data on the characteristics of protracted operations, the risks and uncertainties most frequently encountered, their impact, and the ways that field logisticians manage contingencies.

Findings

The research demonstrates that unpredictability and disruptions exist in protracted operations. Therefore, short-term operational adjustments and agile practices are needed in order to support the continuity of humanitarian deliveries.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should focus on a wider range of humanitarian organisations and move from a descriptive to a prescriptive approach in order to inform practice. Notwithstanding these limitations, the study highlights the need for academics to broaden the scope of their research beyond emergencies and to address the specific needs of humanitarian organisations involved in longer term operations.

Originality/value

This paper is the first empirical research focusing exclusively on the logistics features of humanitarian protracted operations. It provides a more concrete and complete understanding of these operations.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2020

Erdal Şen and Necmiye Tülin İrge

Today humanity is facing a time period, in which the speed and rate of change in different fields are faced. The rapid and effective change in the technological, economic…

Abstract

Today humanity is facing a time period, in which the speed and rate of change in different fields are faced. The rapid and effective change in the technological, economic, military, social and cultural fields all over the world in recent years has had important results in many topics such as informatics, interactive communication, production, data production and sharing and forms of consumption and perception. Changes and developments at very high speeds and rates affect the personal life, social life and work life in a deep manner, especially after the 1980s, paving the way for many concepts such as globalization, Industry 4.0, digitalization, new economy, new world order and digital transformation age to be the leading variables in every field of social sciences.

Production, consumption and communication forms at the global level are becoming more and more in depth and predicting the future is becoming more and more difficult and valuable. Understanding, analyzing and predicting the future for national and international companies and organizations directly and indirectly affect all economic, military and political variables. At this point, competition stands out as one of the most critical concepts for survival and growth for profit-oriented companies.

Based on this, the topics and contents selected in this study were created to cover the field of management and strategy. Indeed, in this study, the concept of organizational agility is explored theoretically from a historical perspective on the concept of Industry 4.0 and especially emphasized the dimensions and components of agility used in today’s world.

Within the scope of this study, the aim is to define and present the general framework of the Industry 4.0 and agile firms, which aim to combine the conceptual and theoretical infrastructure with the implementation of the agile firms within the field. In this respect, the study defines the situation coming from the past together with the world of today in the relationship of the technological and economical dimensions of globalization with the digitalization and latest theoretical view for the agile firm’s structure and management. On the other hand; in this study, the possible effects of the recent COVID-19 pandemic crisis on the management of organizations are interpreted in the context of Industry 4.0 and agile companies. This aim will provide a foresight for the future periods, with the conclusions added with the theory of senism, which present the dominant value of the study.

Details

Agile Business Leadership Methods for Industry 4.0
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-381-6

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2019

Waqar Ahmed, Arsalan Najmi, Yusra Mustafa and Asif Khan

The purpose of this study was to investigate and explain the factors contributing to supply chain agility in service-oriented firms and therein to enhance competitive…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate and explain the factors contributing to supply chain agility in service-oriented firms and therein to enhance competitive capabilities of the organization. The study has identified various variables from past studies that support firms in developing agile supply chain operations. Factors identified from prior studies are supply chain flexibility, supply chain visibility, supply chain responsiveness, supply chain speed and learning orientation, which were then empirically tested for further understanding.

Design/methodology/approach

Using purposive sampling, a sample of 217 valid responses was gathered through structured questionnaire from supply chain practitioners working in various service industries of Pakistan. Partial least square-structural equation modeling was used for data analysis.

Findings

The results of the study show that learning orientation and flexibility of the service firm highly complement the goal of achieving agility in their operations. Speed and visibility also have a major impact on developing agile supply chain. Moreover, supply chain agility has a significantly positive impact on competitive capabilities.

Originality/value

This research is about investigating the operational agility of services sector, which is a one-off study especially in the context of developing and competitive market. This research will provide important insights into the context of dynamic capabilities view for policymakers and decision-makers who aim to develop their competitive strategies based on their operational agility.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2019

David Gligor, Nichole Gligor, Mary Holcomb and Siddik Bozkurt

The purpose of this paper is to add clarity to the multidimensional concepts of agility and resilience. In addition, this paper seeks to clarify the differences and…

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1985

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to add clarity to the multidimensional concepts of agility and resilience. In addition, this paper seeks to clarify the differences and similarities between the two concepts by integrating the distinct bodies of knowledge on agility and resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

A multidisciplinary systematic literature review is conducted. The concept of agility is explored through a review of the sports science, manufacturing, organizational, information systems and information systems development and supply chain literature bases. The concept of resilience is investigated through a review of the psychological and psychopathological, ecological, economic, organizational and supply chain literature bases.

Findings

Examining the complex relationship between the two constructs led to the emergence of six major dimensions to capture the concept of agility (i.e. ability to quickly change direction, speed/accelerate operations, scan the environment/anticipate, empower the customer/customize, adjust tactics and operations (flexibility), and integrate processes within and across firms). Similarly, six dimensions were uncovered for resilience (i.e. ability to resist/survive disruptions, avoid the shock altogether, recover/return to original form following disruption, speed/accelerate operations, adjust tactics and operations (flexibility) and scan the environment/anticipate). Agility and resilience were found to share three common dimensions (i.e. ability to adjust tactics and operations (flexibility), speed/accelerate operations and scan the environment/anticipate).

Practical implications

The identification of the common characteristics of agility and resilience carries important managerial implications from a resource allocation perspective. Allocating resources to the development of the common characteristics of agility and resilience can help firms maximize the impact of such investments. That is, by investing in the common characteristics of both they can improve supply chain agility and supply chain resilience. If firms approach the development or improvement of supply chain agility or resilience independent from one another, without an awareness of the common characteristics, they could be duplicating their investments resulting in supply chain redundancies and inefficiencies.

Originality/value

Not having a clear and comprehensive understanding of the similarities and differences between agility and resilience is problematic from a theoretical perspective. A clear understanding of what each construct represents provides a platform for building generalizable theory by helping researchers operationalize these constructs in a consistent manner. Further, providing a generalizable, comprehensive and multidisciplinary perspective on agility and resilience within supply chain management literature can help increase the visibility of the field of supply chain management across other disciplines as scholars outside the field of supply chain management can utilize the results of this research effort.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2018

Damon Jaggars and DeEtta Jones

The purpose of this paper is to describe the design and implementation of an agile planning and operations framework for an academic research library, designed to…

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1188

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the design and implementation of an agile planning and operations framework for an academic research library, designed to facilitate an ongoing organizational conversation about the organization’s strategic intent and how it plans to move from intention to reality. The goals motivating the implementation of such a framework include creating iterative, open-ended planning and management processes that enable increased flexibility and openness to unforeseen opportunities, as well as the ongoing integration of library faculty, staff, and external stakeholder voices into planning, management, and assessment discussions.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework seeks to harmonize planning, management, and assessment processes over 18-24-month rolling time horizons, during which organizational efforts and investments would be reviewed and revised in an iterative fashion.

Findings

The authors share results and analyses from stakeholder assessments used to develop foundational mission, vision, values, and strategic directions documentation and discuss the structural, cultural, and organizational development challenges confronted and gains experienced in implementing the framework.

Originality/value

Many academic libraries are exploring new approaches to strategic planning, ways to enhance organizational health, and manage change. The authors are unaware of an academic or research library that has attempted to design and implement a similar approach to strategic planning and its assessment. The agile planning framework provides an alternative to traditional “waterfall” approaches to strategic planning for libraries.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2019

Santosh B. Rane, Yahya Abdul Majid Narvel and Bhaskar M. Bhandarkar

The ability of an organization to observe varying demands and efficiently meet them can be described as agility. Project procurement management (PPM) in the past was…

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2149

Abstract

Purpose

The ability of an organization to observe varying demands and efficiently meet them can be described as agility. Project procurement management (PPM) in the past was stable as things did not change very often and were very predictable. Due to hyper-competition, less predictable market and exponential innovation, the existing PPM becomes very unstable which marks the requirement of an agile model to manage procurement projects effectively. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

For achieving the improvements, various barriers to improving agility in PPM were identified from the literature and experts’ review, followed by obtaining quantified impacts of identified barriers from the experts using the Delphi technique. Finally, interpretive structural modeling along with Matrice d’ Impacts Croises Multiplication Appliqué an Classement analysis was used to analyze the interactions among barriers to prioritize and strategize their mitigation.

Findings

As per the analysis, the lack of top management alignment and commitment, lack of digital strategy, lack of new technology competencies and inefficiencies of financial factors were the most critical barriers that would come across while improving agility in PPM for any organization. Industries should have a stable, well-established and supportive top management that has a vision for digital transformation along with upgrading the companies’ technology layer for automating most of the manual processes to have intelligent decision-making capability.

Originality/value

Industries need to be agile in their operations for being more competitive and responsive to the market. PPM being the most critical part of the entire value chain needs to be agile in the first place. The strategies developed as an output of this research can be utilized by industries for improving agility in their business processes.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2018

David Gunsberg, Bruce Callow, Brett Ryan, Jolyon Suthers, Penny Anne Baker and Joanna Richardson

The purpose of this paper is to identify the baseline model required to measure whole-of-organisation agility within a university information services division. The paper…

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1913

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the baseline model required to measure whole-of-organisation agility within a university information services division. The paper seeks to analyse the process of identifying and applying such a model.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative methodology applied is that of a single case study. The organisation analysed was an Australian university’s information services division. A structured survey, based on Wendler (2014), was administered to all staff as part of a multi-phased approach, thus facilitating a triangulation process.

Findings

The current research has confirmed the applicability of Wendler’s model to the higher education information technology sector. Application of the model establishes not only a baseline agility maturity score across the whole-of-organisation but also provides granular scores based on organisational units. Triangulation of survey results is recommended to achieve a more in-depth perspective.

Research limitations/implications

Further research comparing similarly and differently sized universities could provide valuable insights. More research is needed to extend the applicability of Wendler’s model to a wider range of domains and industries.

Practical implications

The grouping of survey questions under particular broad themes reflected the strategic focus of the division being surveyed. Organisations implementing the proposed model will need to select themes that correspond with their respective strategic goals and culture.

Originality/value

The paper has extended the research and resultant model developed by Wendler by applying them not only to both managers and staff but also to a different domain, specifically higher education.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Robert H. Lowson

This paper seeks to offer some unity in a new and evolving discipline. The aim is to provide clear and unambiguous foundations to aid development of operations strategy as…

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6256

Abstract

This paper seeks to offer some unity in a new and evolving discipline. The aim is to provide clear and unambiguous foundations to aid development of operations strategy as a field of study. Using empirical evidence and theoretical reasoning, it seeks to clarify the nature of operations strategy: its lineage, composition and purpose. In so doing, it is able to asseverate that such strategies develop and evolve through both market and resource influences – they shape both the composition and architecture of such strategies. In so doing, it is possible to demonstrate that these strategies can be customised to the exigencies of the situation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 22 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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