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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2021

Érico Marcon, Marlon Soliman, Wolfgang Gerstlberger and Alejandro G. Frank

As the level of implementation of Industry 4.0 increases, misalignments between adopted technologies and organizational factors may result in benefits below expected. This…

Abstract

Purpose

As the level of implementation of Industry 4.0 increases, misalignments between adopted technologies and organizational factors may result in benefits below expected. This paper aims to analyze how organizational factors can contribute to a higher level of adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. The paper uses a sociotechnical perspective lens to achieve this aim.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 231 manufacturing companies in Denmark, a leading country in Industry 4.0 readiness, the paper analyzes through cluster analysis and logistic regression whether the development of four sociotechnical dimensions – that is, Social, Technical, Work Organization and Environmental factors – in these companies can benefit the achievement of higher levels of Industry 4.0 technology adoption.

Findings

The results show that companies focused on the development of sociotechnical aspects generally present higher Industry 4.0 adoption levels. However, some sociotechnical factors are less supportive than others.

Originality/value

Based on these results, practitioners can plan the adoption of advanced technologies, using a systemic organizational view. This study provides evidence on a growing field with few empirical studies available. The paper contributes by providing an analysis of a leading country in Industry 4.0 implementation, presenting a systemic view on technology adoption in the Industry 4.0 context.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2021

Guilherme Brittes Benitez, Mateus Ferreira-Lima, Néstor F. Ayala and Alejandro G. Frank

The provision of Industry 4.0 solutions demands a vast range of technology domains. To provide these solutions, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may need the…

Abstract

Purpose

The provision of Industry 4.0 solutions demands a vast range of technology domains. To provide these solutions, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may need the support of different supply chain actors through an inbound open innovation strategy. The authors study the contribution of four types of supply chain actors for inbound open innovation: suppliers, competitors with complementary technologies, R&D centers and customers. The authors analyze how these four actors moderate the effect of integrated Industry 4.0 solutions on three main competitive strategies: cost, focalization and differentiation.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a survey on 77 SMEs from the automation sector, using OLS regression with moderating effects. They considered the integration of 15 technologies and 7 classic automation activities in the provision of Industry 4.0 solutions. The authors also studied three competitive outputs – technology cost reduction (cost), customer loyalty (focalization) and technology innovation (differentiation) – as well as four supply chain actors (moderators).

Findings

Expanding the provision of Industry 4.0 technologies increases customer loyalty and technology innovation. Collaboration with competitors (complementary technologies) leverage these results and reduce technology costs. Integration between customers and R&D centers elevates costs but R&D centers can foster long-run innovation.

Originality/value

This study is the first to empirically investigate inbound open innovation in the supply chain for technology development in the context of Industry 4.0. The authors discuss how these actors contribute to four inbound open innovation activities: technology scouting; horizontal technology collaboration; vertical technology collaboration; and technology sourcing.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2021

Néstor F. Ayala, Paolo Gaiardelli, Giuditta Pezzotta, Marie Anne Le Dain and Alejandro G. Frank

The purpose of this study is to analyse the effect of different forms of service supplier involvement on the service business dimensions necessary for servitisation and on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyse the effect of different forms of service supplier involvement on the service business dimensions necessary for servitisation and on the resulting servitisation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Three different configurations of service supplier involvement are considered in this study: black box (service design and execution driven by the service supplier), grey box (joint service design) and white box (service design driven by the product firm). The study analyses their contribution by means of a cross-sectional quantitative survey with 104 Brazilian and Italian firms using multivariate analysis of variance.

Findings

Companies that adopted the grey box configuration presented the best results in servitisation. White and black box may offer different benefits depending on the service business dimension that the company chooses to emphasise.

Originality/value

The results show which type of service supplier involvement is more effective for servitisation. The empirical data demonstrate that a joint service design (grey box involvement) is the best approach, but the paper discusses limitations for its implementation and alternatives regarding the two other types of service supplier involvement. The findings contribute to the discussion on the role of service suppliers in servitisation and provide empirical evidence to support operations managers in deciding on how to organise their service supply chain when aiming for servitisation.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2018

Néstor F. Ayala, Wolfgang Gerstlberger and Alejandro G. Frank

The purpose of this paper is to study service innovation in product companies (servitization) by considering the relationship (moderation) between product companies and…

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1621

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study service innovation in product companies (servitization) by considering the relationship (moderation) between product companies and service suppliers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a relational view of the firm, the authors propose that there are three main business dimensions that product companies have to manage in servitization and that the support of service suppliers can moderate the effects of these dimensions on the benefits obtained from the product–service system (PSS) delivered. To test these hypotheses, the authors perform a cross-sectional quantitative survey in 104 Brazilian and Italian product companies.

Findings

The findings show that the three business dimensions are important for servitization while there is a trade-off decision regarding service suppliers’ support since suppliers act differently depending on the PSS orientation (product- or service-oriented).

Research limitations/implications

The work is limited to the analysis of what should change in a company during servitization and the impact of supplier’s support. Further research is needed to complement this study by analyzing the process and context of the organizational change.

Practical implications

The research contributes an understanding about how the benefits practitioners can obtain from servitization are strongly influenced by the support of service suppliers and how this influence depends on the PSS orientation of the product company.

Originality/value

This is one of the first quantitative studies to provide evidence of how service suppliers’ involvement affects different servitization business dimensions and the obtained benefits for both product- and service-oriented outputs.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2021

Alejandro Germán Frank, Guilherme Brittes Benitez, Mateus Ferreira Lima and João Augusto Bonzanini Bernardi

Open innovation breadth (OIB) considers the diversity of external collaboration partners for innovation. The authors investigate the moderating effect of OIB on the…

Abstract

Purpose

Open innovation breadth (OIB) considers the diversity of external collaboration partners for innovation. The authors investigate the moderating effect of OIB on the relationship between industrial innovation activities (innovation inputs) and industrial innovation results (innovation outputs).

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on secondary data from the Brazilian innovation survey, representing more than 30,000 innovative companies across 55 industrial sectors.

Findings

This study’s results show that OIB has different moderating effects regarding the several innovation input–output relationships. While OIB benefits some relationships, others are hampered by the diversity of collaboration partners.

Originality/value

Few studies have addressed OIB at the macro level. Using the perspective of transaction cost economics (TCE), the authors discuss the contributions and limitations of OIB at the industry level.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Rocío Arteaga and Alejandro Escribá-Esteve

This research is aimed to better understand what characteristics of family firms create a context in which family governance systems are more frequently adopted.

Abstract

Purpose

This research is aimed to better understand what characteristics of family firms create a context in which family governance systems are more frequently adopted.

Design/methodology/approach

We analyse a sample of 490 Spanish family businesses using cluster analysis, and we identify four different types of family businesses whose characteristics are associated to the adoption of different family governance systems, i.e. family councils and family protocols. The comparison between clusters of the baseline parameters was performed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for parametric variables, the χ2 test for parametric variables and Kruskal-Wallis for nonparametric variables. By conducting between-profile analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), we tested for differences in the dependent variables (i.e. the existence of family councils and/or existence of family protocols) between the clusters, using cluster membership as the independent variable.

Findings

Taking into account the characteristics of family firms in terms of ownership structure, management involvement, and family and organizational complexity, we identify four different contexts that create different communication needs and are related to the use of different family governance mechanisms. We characterize the different contexts or types of family firms as: founder-centric, protective, consensual and business-evolved. Our findings show that family protocols are associated to contexts with high family involvement in management and family complexity, while family councils are more frequent when there is a separation of managerial and ownership roles and there is a high organizational and family complexity.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights the value of social systems theory in order to explain the association between the characteristics of different firm types and contexts, and the use of family councils and family protocols to govern the relationship between the owner family and the business.

Practical implications

Family governance mechanisms are widely recommended by practitioners and scholars. However, they are usually adopted only by a small percentage of family firms. This study helps to better understand what family governance systems may be more appropriate in different contexts and relativize the necessity of these governance mechanisms in function of the communication needs created within each context.

Social implications

The improvement of family governance mechanisms helps to increase the likelihood of survival and durability of family firms. These firms contribute to more than 60% of employment in most developed countries. Consequently, good governance in family firms has social implications in terms of labour conditions and stability.

Originality/value

Most family firms don't use family protocols or family councils to govern the relationship between the owner family and the firm. However, little is known about the reasons for this lack of structuration of the family-firm relationship. Using social systems theory, our research contributes to better understand the conditions in which business families are more prone to use structured forms to manage this relationship, as well as the reasons that may be constraining their adoption.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Giuliano Almeida Marodin, Alejandro Germán Frank, Guilherme Luz Tortorella and Tarcisio Abreu Saurin

This paper aims to understand the patterns of lean production implementation, and the relationship between three context factors (i.e. firm size, positions within the…

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2111

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand the patterns of lean production implementation, and the relationship between three context factors (i.e. firm size, positions within the supply chain and time length of the lean initiative) and the adoption of lean production practices in firms of the automotive supply chain in Brazil.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected data from 65 companies of the automotive supply chain in Brazil. For data analysis, first a cluster analysis was performed to identify common characteristics in the companies’ context factors when considering patterns of lean implementation. Then, multivariate analysis of variance was used to investigate the differences between the context factors and the degree of use of lean practices.

Findings

High lean adopters had better performance than low lean adopters in terms of lead time, inventory and turnover. Firms at the first and second tier of the automotive supply chain were “leaner” than firms at the third tier. Large-sized firms were more likely to have a higher degree of use of lean practices than medium and smaller ones. Some, but not all, lean practices followed these patterns. Results also showed that some lean practices were most commonly adopted at the beginning of the lean journey, whereas others took more time to mature.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrated how lean practices were implemented at different positions within the supply chain, and the patterns of implementation often followed. It also considers lean in the context of developing countries such as Brazil.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2017

Giuliano Almeida Marodin, Guilherme Luz Tortorella, Alejandro Germán Frank and Moacir Godinho Filho

The purpose of this paper is to understand the relationship between the implementation of Lean shop floor (LSF) practices and Lean supply chain management, and their…

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2983

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the relationship between the implementation of Lean shop floor (LSF) practices and Lean supply chain management, and their effect on quality and inventory turnover.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey-based research method was conducted and data were collected from 110 plants located in Brazil. The research constructs were validated through rigorous procedures (unidimensionality and discriminant validity and reliability) through confirmatory factor analysis and two hypotheses were tested using ordinary least square regression.

Findings

The results indicate that: Lean supplier relationship positively moderates the effect of LSF practices on inventory turnover; Lean customer relationship negatively moderates the effect of LSF practices on inventory turnover; and Lean supplier relationship positively moderates the effect of LSF practices on quality.

Originality/value

From a theoretical perspective, the results of this study provide evidences supporting the importance of understanding the systemic relationships between Lean implementation at the shop floor and the firm’s relationships with supply chain partners, that was not tested before. As managerial implications, the results suggest that managers should take a decision to foster a Lean supply chain management depending on which performance metrics they need to improve: quality or inventory turnover.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2021

Valéry Merminod, Marie Anne Le Dain and Alejandro Germán Frank

This paper aims to propose that knowing in practice can be used as a mechanism to enhance social exchange in collaborative new product development (NPD) with suppliers to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose that knowing in practice can be used as a mechanism to enhance social exchange in collaborative new product development (NPD) with suppliers to reduce glitches. Practic00es of inter-organizational knowing should consider the levels of supplier involvement adopted.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper studies two opposite situations of supplier involvement in NPD projects, namely, white and black box configurations. This paper adopts a qualitative comparative analysis method to identify necessary and sufficient configurations of knowing in practice in 36 projects from 3 different companies.

Findings

Social exchange is important even when the NPD collaboration is based on contractual relationships as in white and grey box collaborations. There are different combinations of practices for inter-organizational knowing that can limit glitches in each supplier configuration. This paper proposes a theoretical model that explains these relationships and contributions to the reduction of glitches.

Originality/value

This paper combines social exchange theory with knowing in practice in the supplier involvement context. The theoretical model contributes to the understanding of knowing in practice in white and black box configurations.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2018

Guilherme Luz Tortorella, Diego de Castro Fettermann, Alejandro Frank and Giuliano Marodin

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the association between leadership styles (task or relation orientation) and lean manufacturing (LM) implementation changes…

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2779

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the association between leadership styles (task or relation orientation) and lean manufacturing (LM) implementation changes due to two contextual variables, team size and the leader’s age.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors carried out a survey with 225 leaders from different Brazilian companies that are implementing LM. Research constructs were validated through rigorous procedures using confirmatory factor analysis. Hypotheses were tested using ordinary linear least squares regression.

Findings

The results suggest that larger teams and more senior managers were negatively associated with LM implementation. Task-orientation style makes leaders more likely to achieve higher levels of LM than relation-orientation style leaders. Finally, the influence of relation-oriented leaders on LM implementation is contingent upon the size of the team.

Research limitations/implications

Regarding study’s limitations, sample size and respondents’ location restrict results to this contextual condition, indicating that increasing the sample would help provide wider and more generalizable results. It is also worth noting that results are based on respondents’ (leaders) perspective. Hence, future studies may collect data from multiple perspectives, such as leaders and their followers, in order to compare results so as to verify the convergence or divergence among different respondents.

Practical implications

The results suggest that leaders should have different behaviors according to the context in which they are inserted. Therefore, such behavioral prescriptions are useful for managers since they are pressured to achieve high operational performance in short time periods and with few resources. Further, companies undergoing lean implementation may also be able to stimulate proper leadership behaviors and promote development programs accordingly, which is extremely relevant since behavioral changes usually take time.

Originality/value

The evolutionary process for achieving a successful lean enterprise requires different leadership styles according to the context in which leaders are inserted. This research provides arguments to help better understand the recommended leadership behaviors for lean implementation, complementing existing roadmaps by considering the proper leadership style as a contingency issue during lean implementation. Moreover, identifying the effect of contextual variables helps specify the contexts in which lean practices are more likely to be implemented.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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