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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Arnaldo Camuffo and Fabrizio Gerli

The purpose of this paper is to identify and empirically validate a repertoire of management behaviors associated with the adoption of lean systems, showing how a subset of such…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and empirically validate a repertoire of management behaviors associated with the adoption of lean systems, showing how a subset of such behaviors differentiates more advanced lean systems in a specific setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies regression analysis and non-parametric hypothesis testing to an original data set coming from field research of 26 cases of adoption of lean operations practices.

Findings

The study: identifies in the lean literature a repertoire of management behaviors that support lean implementations and complement the adoption of lean practices; provides a way to operationalize them; validates this repertoire of behaviors; and shows that a subset of these behaviors is associated with more advanced lean implementations, suggesting the necessity to adopt a situational approach to lean leadership.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have boundary conditions, defined by the national, industrial, and size context in which the study was conducted.

Practical implications

The study provides practical guidance for lean system implementation suggesting a repertoire of management behaviors within which firms can identify and validate specific, appropriate subsets of behaviors aligned with the company strategy, culture, size, environment, bundle of lean operation practices adopted, and maturity stage of lean adoption.

Originality/value

This is the first study to provide quantitative, non-anecdotal evidence of the relationship between specific management behaviors and the successful implementation of lean operations practices. It offers a novel method to operationalize and measure lean management behaviors.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2023

Arnaldo Camuffo and Alberto Poletto

The paper tests if and to what extent lean management system adoption generates abnormal profitability, and how it accrues over time. Configurational approaches to lean management…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper tests if and to what extent lean management system adoption generates abnormal profitability, and how it accrues over time. Configurational approaches to lean management systems and “S-curve” effects in lean implementation are used to ground the paper's hypotheses and interpret its findings.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the emerging view of lean as enterprise-wide management systems, this quasi-experimental study uses a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the abnormal profitability (ROIC) attributable to lean management system adoption. The paper leverages a unique data set of lean adopters nested in a panel data set (19 years) of 2,088 industrial firms matched by industry and firm size. It applies a variety of regression methods (two-way fixed effect panel estimator, propensity score matching, instrumental variable two-stage-least squares) to estimate the size of the abnormal profitability attributable to lean management systems, addressing endogeneity issues related to non-random sampling, omitted variable bias and reverse causation. It also analyzes the cross-firm variability of such abnormal profitability and how it accrues over time.

Findings

For the average non-adopter in the sample (44.3 million euro revenues), lean adoption generates abnormal ROIC ranging from 1.4% to 3.9%. These results come into effect approximately three years after starting lean adoption and peak after eight years. While the average abnormal profitability attributable to lean adoption is sizable, it varies significantly across firms and over time. This significant variation is compatible with firms' diverse ability to understand the complex inner workings of lean systems, and to design and implement them so that they improve profitability.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptualization of lean as enterprise-wide management system can be further refined to more effectively categorize the components of lean systems and investigate the nature of their relationships. Lean system adoption measurement can be fine-tuned to better capture cross-firm and longitudinal heterogeneity. Future work can explore other dependent variables of interest to different stakeholders including shareholders' value, employment and environmental and social sustainability.

Practical implications

The financial benefits of adopting lean can be reaped to the extent to which managers embrace lean as a philosophy and implement it pervasively in the organization. A firm can use the study's estimates as a basis for making calculations about the returns of investment in lean adoption. The paper also shows that “getting the lean system right” makes a significant difference in terms of abnormal profitability, which is twice as large for the best lean adopters..

Social implications

Compared with the promises of many lean proponents and supporters, the paper provides a more realistic view of what to expect from lean adoption in terms of profitability. Adopting lean as a comprehensive, enterprise-wide management system is not a universal panacea, but a complex endeavor, characterized by multiple complex decisions that require considerable capabilities, coordinated efforts and consistency of action.

Originality/value

Differently from extant research, this study does not study the correlation between the adoption of lean operation practices and financial performance but focuses on the abnormal profitability generated by the adoption of lean as a pervasive, enterprise-wide management system. Its research design allows to identify the differential profitability attributable to lean adoption and documents that it accrues non-linearly.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 September 2009

Arnaldo Camuffo, Fabrizio Gerli, Silvia Borgo and Tatiana Somià

This study aims to explore how the amount and the nature of learning accrued during an MBA – measured in terms of competency development – impact on career advancement and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how the amount and the nature of learning accrued during an MBA – measured in terms of competency development – impact on career advancement and compensation.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying nonparametric statistical analysis on data from behavioral event interviews and survey questionnaires to a sample of 44 Italian MBA graduates, the study investigates: the type and extent of competency development during the MBA programme and the relationship between this competency development and post‐MBA career and compensation.

Findings

The findings support the hypothesis that the degree of competency development during the MBA programme enhances career advancement, and that some competencies, like planning, result orientation, networking, organizational awareness, system thinking and use of technology, do so particularly, which is consistent with literature on career competencies. No relationship is found, instead, between competency development during the MBA and compensation.

Originality/value

Most of the outstanding research supports the hypothesis that the MBA enhances career advancement, but the evidence about how the skills and competencies associated with an MBA study impact on career outcomes is polarized and remains somewhat sketchy. Several scholars have examined the career outcomes for MBA graduates, but no specific study has addressed the issue of assessing whether and to what extent the competencies developed during the MBA programme impact on career outcomes. The study investigates this issue and tries to explore the relationship between competencies development and career advancement.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 28 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 March 2007

Arnaldo Camuffo, Andrea Furlan, Pietro Romano and Andrea Vinelli

The purpose of this paper is to investigate routes towards supplier and production network internationalisation.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate routes towards supplier and production network internationalisation.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple case‐study analysis has been applied to a sample of 11 Italian footwear and apparel companies with headquarters located in the North‐east of Italy. Within and cross‐case analyses illustrate and compare how these firms relocated one or more segments of their supplier and production networks to Romania.

Findings

The findings support theories that view internationalisation as an incremental process of experiential knowledge accumulation. The case studies suggest that firms undertake three different routes towards supplier and production network internationalisation: traditional subcontracting; co‐ordinated subcontracting; and supply system relocation. These routes' typology is grounded on an original model, which is the theoretical contribution of the paper, which elaborates Johanson and Vahlne's framework adding two variables: the nature of the technological knowledge that needs to be transferred to run the foreign operations and the nature of the customer‐supplier (CS) interaction context of the focal firm.

Research limitations/implications

The characteristics of the model proposed set the boundaries of the research approach and suggest new avenues for further research. First, the model rests on the idea that no firm can fully control the dynamics of its international network, since these are an emergent process. Consequently, the study does not provide practitioners with a rigid set of normative indications about what factors to consider when designing international supply networks. Secondly, the model does not consider all the factors that impact on the internationalisation of the supplier and production network. Finally, the model is not evolutionary and does not assess the relationships between the internationalisation process (its timing, speed, etc.) and firms' performance.

Practical implications

The typology can support managers when framing the problem of choosing among different routes of supplier and production network internationalisation. Furthermore, the findings suggest that these decisions are influenced by the nature of the technological knowledge involved and the CS interaction context.

Originality/value

The paper extends the theory of the supply network internationalisation process, proposing a model that captures the variables actually involved in such a process and their dynamic relationships.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 February 2012

Arnaldo Camuffo, Fabrizio Gerli and Paolo Gubitta

The purpose of this paper is to explore if and to what extent the competency portfolio of entrepreneurs affects firm's performance, controlling for a set of individual and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore if and to what extent the competency portfolio of entrepreneurs affects firm's performance, controlling for a set of individual and organizational variables.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying nonparametric statistical analysis on data from behavioral event interviews and survey questionnaires to a sample of 53 entrepreneurs (small firm owners), this study investigates: the type, scope and depth of the entrepreneurs' competence portfolio; and the relationship between the entrepreneurs' competence portfolio and their firm performance. The empirical setting is a sample of northeast Italian small family businesses.

Findings

The authors' research shows which are the functional, emotional and cross‐functional competencies that differentiate entrepreneurs' performance and identifies which are the threshold competencies (Self‐control, Information gathering and Visioning) and the distinctive competencies (Planning, Empathy, Business bargaining, Organizational awareness, Directing others and Benchmarking).

Originality/value

The existing literature on the determinants of successful entrepreneurship mostly focuses on technological, financial and institutional factors, even if entrepreneurs' skills, knowledge, creativity, imagination, and alertness to opportunities are at least as much important in shaping small firms' performance. Building on competency modeling techniques and emotional intelligence literature, this study explores the link between personal characteristics and competencies of entrepreneurs and the performance of their firms. The study offers some managerial implications, provides direction to practitioners and policy makers on how to support entrepreneurship and small business development, and suggests future research directions.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2017

Abstract

Details

Breaking up the Global Value Chain
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-071-6

Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2016

Arnaldo Camuffo and Federica De Stefano

In this paper, we argue that work should be recognized as “commons.” We call for a new approach to how managers define their role and responsibility regarding the problem of work…

Abstract

In this paper, we argue that work should be recognized as “commons.” We call for a new approach to how managers define their role and responsibility regarding the problem of work flexibility and of its societal implications. We argue that, in the global and digitized economy, it is in the best interest of all the company’s stakeholders that managers choose combinations of work arrangements and human resource policies considering the externalities of these decisions. Managers’ responsibility spans to the costs and risks that the broader social system of organizational stakeholders will bear because of their decisions. When labor market institutions are “thin,” it is management’s responsibility to contribute structuring and shaping them, so that the interests of workers, independent of the work arrangements, are considered.

Details

The Structuring of Work in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-436-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Arnaldo Camuffo, Raffaele Secchi and Chiara Paolino

Rolling out lean operations practices in MNCs’ plants is a complex knowledge transfer process whose design and implementation, though critical to operations performance, to date…

Abstract

Rolling out lean operations practices in MNCs’ plants is a complex knowledge transfer process whose design and implementation, though critical to operations performance, to date has not been investigated by operations management, international business, strategy, and organizational design research. Applying conceptual tools drawn from various theoretical approaches to knowledge management, transfer and diffusion, this exploratory study: (a) classifies and interprets lean roll-out processes in MNCs, framing them in terms of (i) knowledge replication strategies (template vs. principles-based), (ii) decentralization of decision making (degree of plant autonomy), and (iii) type of organizational ambidexterity (structural vs. contextual) underlying the process; (b) develops, through seven case studies of lean roll-outs in MNCs’ plants, three testable propositions about what might enhance the lean roll-out process performance, arguing about the individual and combined effect of the three above mentioned dimensions on lean roll-out effectiveness and efficiency. We posit that an approach characterized by principles-based knowledge replication, larger decentralization, and prevalence of contextual ambidexterity positively impacts on roll-out process performance.

Details

Orchestration of the Global Network Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-953-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Raffaele Secchi and Arnaldo Camuffo

Adopting a knowledge-based perspective, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the roll-out process of lean production systems and explores the dimensions that might enhance…

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Abstract

Purpose

Adopting a knowledge-based perspective, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the roll-out process of lean production systems and explores the dimensions that might enhance or hinder its performance. It develops a framework to understand and design lean roll-out processes, identifying the research dimensions/design variables to classify and interpret such processes.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory multiple case study analyses seven lean roll-out processes in multinational companies’ plants. An original data set, developed on the basis of a purposely design research protocol, was built through two rounds of plant visits and structured interviews. The cross-case analysis compares and contrasts the lean roll-out processes according to the research dimensions constituting the framework.

Findings

The effectiveness and the efficiency of the lean roll-out processes: first, negatively co-vary with the degree of lean knowledge codification; second, positively co-vary with the degree of autonomy of the plant; third, positively co-vary with the degree of contextual ambidexterity. Moreover, lean roll-out processes characterized by principles-based knowledge replication strategy, plant autonomy and contextual ambidexterity are comparatively more effective and efficient.

Research limitations/implications

This is an exploratory qualitative study that develops propositions potentially testable in larger scale, more analytical research.

Practical implications

This study provides a tentative roadmap to successfully approach the roll-out of lean production systems in complex organizations.

Originality/value

This study challenges the current theory and practice which implicitly assumes that lean roll-outs take place linearly, cascading a set of predefined lean operations practices. Instead, the authors show that a less codified, more decentralized and contextually ambidextrous approach might be more effective.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2017

Diego Campagnolo and Arnaldo Camuffo

Ownership and location decisions are at the core of the development of multinational enterprises (MNEs) as they deeply impact the creation and appropriation of value in global…

Abstract

Ownership and location decisions are at the core of the development of multinational enterprises (MNEs) as they deeply impact the creation and appropriation of value in global value chains. Such decisions have been treated by extant literature mostly as oppositions characterized by trade-off alternatives, such as internalization versus externalization and domestic versus offshoring. In this chapter, we discuss the development of a multinational company, that is, De’Longhi, as it has adjusted both ownership and location choices several times over the last 15 years. The case shows that in growing firms, such as De’Longhi, ownership and location decisions are interrelated among each other and with several factors including: interdependences between value chain activities, corporate strategy, organizational culture and the time horizon of the above choices.

Details

Breaking up the Global Value Chain
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-071-6

Keywords

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