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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2019

George Onofrei and Brian Fynes

The purpose of this research is to test a model that incorporates investments in quality and Lean practices and production fitness constructs, originating in the theory of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to test a model that incorporates investments in quality and Lean practices and production fitness constructs, originating in the theory of swift even flow (SEF), to provide insights into successful implementation of manufacturing practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses data from the Global Manufacturing Research Group fourth round survey and empirically tests the relationships between investments in Lean practices and improvements in production fitness, using a sample of 844 plants in 17 countries.

Findings

The results highlight that the implementation of Lean practices yields better results on production evenness, when the company has higher levels of investments in quality practices. Therefore, the implementation of quality practices is a prerequisite for achieving higher production fitness.

Originality/value

The findings are important to the development and testing of operations management theory, as it integrates two research streams, manufacturing practices and SEF research, to gain insights into the interplay of manufacturing practices and how it influences the production fitness. For practitioners, this research assesses how better-performing plants compete. It provides operations managers with a better understanding of production fitness and how manufacturing practices foster its development.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 March 2019

Kirstin Scholten, Pamela Sharkey Scott and Brian Fynes

Organisations must build resilience to be able to deal with disruptions or non-routine events in their supply chains. While learning is implicit in definitions of supply…

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4112

Abstract

Purpose

Organisations must build resilience to be able to deal with disruptions or non-routine events in their supply chains. While learning is implicit in definitions of supply chain resilience (SCRes), there is little understanding of how exactly organisations can adapt their routines to build resilience. The purpose of this study is to address this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an in-depth qualitative case study based on 28 interviews across five companies, exploring learning to build SCRes.

Findings

This study uncovers six learning mechanisms and their antecedents that foster SCRes. The learning mechanisms identified suggest that through knowledge creation within an organisation and knowledge transfer across the supply chain and broader network of stakeholders, operating routines are built and/or adapted both intentionally and unintentionally during three stages of a supply chain disruption: preparation, response and recovery.

Practical implications

This study shows how the impact of a supply chain disruption may be reduced by intentional and unintentional learning in all three disruption phases. By being aware of the antecedents of unintentional learning, organisations can more consciously adapt routines. Furthermore, findings highlight the potential value of additional attention to knowledge transfer, particularly in relation to collaborative and vicarious learning across the supply chain and broader network of stakeholders not only in preparation for, but also in response to and recovery from disruptions.

Originality/value

This study contributes novel insights about how learning leads both directly and indirectly to the evolution of operating routines that help an organisation and its supply chains to deal with disruptions. Results detail six specific learning mechanisms for knowledge creation and knowledge transfer and their antecedents for building SCRes. In doing so, this study provides new fine-grained theoretical insights about how SCRes can be improved through all three phases of a disruption. Propositions are developed for theory development.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2020

George Onofrei, Brian Fynes, Hung Nguyen and Amir Hossein Azadnia

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between investments in quality and lean practices, and their impact on factory fitness. Using concepts…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between investments in quality and lean practices, and their impact on factory fitness. Using concepts originating in the theory of swift even flow, this study asserts that manufacturers, in order to improve their production swiftness and evenness, must leverage the potential synergetic effects between quality and lean practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses data from the Global Manufacturing Research Group (GMRG) survey project (with data collected from 922 manufacturing plants, across 18 countries). The constructs and measurement model were assessed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and the hypotheses were tested using ordinary least square (OLS) models.

Findings

This study highlights that both investments in quality and lean practices have direct impact factory fitness. The results provide insights into the efficacy of the investments in manufacturing practices and their role in augmenting the operational performance. The investments in quality practices were found to enhance the efficacy of investments in lean practices, which in turn impact the factory fitness.

Practical implications

From a practical perspective, the study informs managers on how to leverage investment in quality practices to enhance the impact of lean practice on performance. The results provide empirical evidence to support management decision-making concerning the development of competences in quality and lean practices, which may create competitive advantage.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the quality and lean literature and provides empirical evidence of the synergetic effects between investments in quality and lean practices. The analysis offers a greater understanding of the mechanisms that can be used to maximise the impact of investments in lean practices, from a global perspective. The findings are important to the advancement of theory in operations management, as it integrates three research streams: quality practices, lean practices and swift even flow research.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2019

Frank Wiengarten, Huashan Li, Prakash J. Singh and Brian Fynes

This paper aims to explore the performance implications of supply chain integration (SCI) taking a strategic perspective. Thus, this paper is set to provide answers to the…

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1800

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the performance implications of supply chain integration (SCI) taking a strategic perspective. Thus, this paper is set to provide answers to the following research questions: Does a higher degree of SCI always lead to greater firm performance improvements? As the answer to this question is likely to be no, the authors explore the performance implications from a strategic perspective: Is the SCI–performance relationship contingent on a company’s competitive priorities (i.e. operations strategy)?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors explore their questions through multiple quasi-independent data sets to test the impact of SCI on firm performance. Furthermore, the authors provide a more nuanced conceptual and empirical view to explore the previously uncovered contradictory results and contingent relationship challenging the “more integration equals higher firm performance” proposition.

Findings

The results only provide partial support for the proposition that more integration is always beneficial in the supply chain context. The authors also identified that the impact of SCI on financial performance is contingent on a company’s competitive priorities.

Originality/value

This study provides a much-needed comprehensive assessment of the SCI–performance relationship through critically re-evaluating one of the most popular propositions in the field of supply chain management. The results can be extrapolated beyond the dyad, as the authors conceptualise integration simultaneously from an upstream and downstream perspective.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Frank Wiengarten, Muhammad Usman Ahmed, Annachiara Longoni, Mark Pagell and Brian Fynes

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the impact of complexity on the triple bottom line by applying information-processing theory. Specifically, the…

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2357

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the impact of complexity on the triple bottom line by applying information-processing theory. Specifically, the paper assesses the impact of internal manufacturing complexity on environmental, social, and financial performance. Furthermore, the paper assesses the moderating role of connectivity and shared schema in reducing the potential negative impact of complexity on performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Multi-country survey data collected through the Global Manufacturing Research Group were utilized to test the hypotheses. The authors used structural equation modeling to test the measurement and initial structural model. Furthermore, to test the proposed moderating hypotheses, the authors applied the latent moderated structural equations approach.

Findings

The results indicate that while complexity has a negative impact on environmental and social performance, it does not significantly affect financial performance. Furthermore, this negative impact can be reduced, to some extent, through connectivity; however, shared schema does not significantly impact on the complexity-performance relationship.

Originality/value

This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the impact of complexity on sustainability. Furthermore, it provides managerial applications as it proposes specific tools to deal with the potential negative influences of complexity.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

George Onofrei, Jasna Prester, Brian Fynes, Paul Humphreys and Frank Wiengarten

Prior research has shown that operational intellectual capital (OIC) and investments in lean practices (ILP) lead to better operational performance. However, there have…

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1174

Abstract

Purpose

Prior research has shown that operational intellectual capital (OIC) and investments in lean practices (ILP) lead to better operational performance. However, there have been no empirical studies on the synergetic effects between OIC components and ILP. More specifically, the question – can the efficacy of ILP be increased through OIC? – has not been studied. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to report the empirical results of potential synergetic effects between OIC, as a knowledge-based resource, and ILP.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data used for this study were drawn from the fifth round of the Global Manufacturing Research Group survey project (with data collected from 528 manufacturing plants). The hypotheses are empirically tested using three ordinary least square (OLS) models.

Findings

The authors’ findings highlight the importance of leveraging a system of complementary knowledge-based resources (OIC dimensions) and addresses the need for the reformulation of lean theory in terms of the emergent knowledge-based view of the firm. The results facilitate greater understanding of the complex relationship between ILP and operational performance. Building on the contribution of Menor et al. (2007), the authors argue that OIC represents a strategic knowledge-based resource that is valuable, hard to imitate or substitute and, when leveraged effectively, generates superior operational and competitive advantage.

Practical implications

From a managerial standpoint, this study provides guidelines for managers on how to leverage OIC to enhance the efficacy of ILP. The authors argue that firms consider investing in OIC to increase the return from ILP, which, in turn, will enhance their operational performance and provide competitive advantage. The authors findings provide strong evidence of the importance of human, social and structural capital to enhance the efficacy of ILP.

Originality/value

This is the first research paper that extends the application of the intellectual capital theory in lean literature, and argues that the OIC contributes to the efficacy of ILP. The analysis facilitates greater understanding of the complex relationship between OIC dimensions, ILP and operational performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Brian Fynes and Paul Coughlan

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843

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2002

Teresa Brannick, Séan de Búrca, Brian Fynes, Evelyn Roche and Séan Ennis

Examines the complex relationship between listening and training practices and service performance by deconstructing an earlier model of service management developed by…

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2197

Abstract

Examines the complex relationship between listening and training practices and service performance by deconstructing an earlier model of service management developed by the London Business School and Warwick Business School in the UK. This research hypothesizes that the nature of the practice‐performance relationship is far too complex to be represented by a total aggregated index of practice. Hence the composite practice index is decomposed into a listening and a training index. The concept of the “listening” organisation is employed as one facet, and training climate measured by employee training activities is a second facet. These two facets are related to service performance. Reports on empirical research, which investigated the link between listening, and training practices and service performance. The data obtained from a survey of 143 service organisations in the Republic of Ireland show a clear pattern. By taking listening practices, including information technology, as a holistic view of a constellation of information‐related practice type factors, demonstrates that there is a close relationship with service performance. Extensive training activities enhance this relationship.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Seán de Búrca, Brian Fynes and Teresa Brannick

To investigate the relationship between service practices, service performance, business performance and information technology (IT) sophistication.

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2689

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the relationship between service practices, service performance, business performance and information technology (IT) sophistication.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework is developed, incorporating dimensions of services practice and service performance and structural equation modeling is used to test the model with data from 231 companies.

Findings

This paper extends the basic service practice‐service performance relationship by incorporating the interaction effects of IT sophistication in a contingency framework. Previous studies found mixed support for the direct effects of IT sophistication on service performance.

Research limitations/implications

Using single informants leads to common methods bias.

Practical implications

Companies need to identify how IT contributes to service effectiveness from a customer perspective.

Originality/value

This study adds to the emerging literature of the relationship between services management and information technology.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 26 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

Roberto Chavez, Brian Fynes, Cristina Gimenez and Frank Wiengarten

The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of industry clockspeed on the relationship between supply chain management (SCM) practices, from both upstream and…

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1901

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of industry clockspeed on the relationship between supply chain management (SCM) practices, from both upstream and downstream sides of the supply chain, and SCM performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a questionnaire sent to manufacturing companies in the Republic of Ireland. The relationships between the constructs are analysed through regression analysis.

Findings

The results suggest that the relationship between SCM practices and SCM performance is not monotonic across varying levels of industry clockspeed. Although mixed support was found for the hypothesized relationships, this research contributes considerably to the theoretical development of the contingency view in the SCM literature.

Practical implications

Managers should be aware that the rate of change in their industries can affect the way SCM practices across the supply chain impact on SCM performance.

Originality/value

The literature review has shown that empirical studies which address the relationship between SCM practices and SCM performance provide mixed results. One possible explanation lies in the contingency theory. This paper contributes to the theoretical development of the contingency view in the SCM literature by showing that industry clockspeed affects the way SCM practices impact on SCM performance.

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