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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2015

Alceu Gomes Alves Filho, Edemilson Nogueira and Paulo Eduardo Gomes Bento

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze the operations strategies (OSs) adopted by six of the all seven automobile engine manufacturers in action in Brazil…

1246

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze the operations strategies (OSs) adopted by six of the all seven automobile engine manufacturers in action in Brazil during the years of 2005 and 2006.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were held with at least one of the top managers at each engine manufacturing plant to collect information about the aforementioned strategies. The questions were aimed at identifying possible changes, over a four years period, in some of the operations-related competitive priorities and decision areas.

Findings

This research revealed the strategies adopted by six of the all seven major automobile engine manufacturers installed in Brazil in 2005, enabling a discussion of relevant themes from both the theoretical and practical standpoints. Competitive priorities and decision areas form a very inter-related system and any significant change of OSs requires significant investments, effort and time.

Research limitations/implications

Case studies were carried out in a specific context of the automobile market in Brazil in 2005 and 2006. Firms must treat operations as a system that changes continuously.

Practical implications

In dealing with operations as a system, managers should know and apply OS concepts. This is even more important at dynamic (economic) sectors/industries.

Originality/value

This paper describes and discusses – via qualitative research and in a comprehensive way – the OSs of two groups (established and entrant manufacturers) of firms in a relatively dynamic context in Brazil.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 April 2011

David Xiaosong Peng, Roger G. Schroeder and Rachna Shah

The purpose of this paper is to examine the strategic contingency of plant improvement capability and innovation capability.

4166

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the strategic contingency of plant improvement capability and innovation capability.

Design/methodology/approach

Two forms of fit between the two capabilities and competitive priorities were empirically tested. Data collected from a sample of 238 manufacturing plants were used to test the hypotheses using regression.

Findings

The results provide partial support for fit as mediation. However, there was no evidence supporting fit as moderation. It was found that improvement capability and innovation capability are associated with different competitive priorities and also have varying impact on different operational performance dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

There are two limitations to this research: only three operations management (OM) practices are included in each capability examined; and there are somewhat limited measures of competitive priorities and operational performance.

Originality/value

This study examines multiple forms of fit between competitive priorities and operations capabilities. The findings can inform managers to selectively implement OM practices for developing the needed operations capabilities given the chosen competitive priorities.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

M. Muzamil Naqshbandi and Fazli Idris

This study attempts to explain the components of competitive priorities of Malaysian service firms and to find out the competitive priorities of different service…

4649

Abstract

Purpose

This study attempts to explain the components of competitive priorities of Malaysian service firms and to find out the competitive priorities of different service industries in Malaysia, and how these competitive priorities change across “low performance” and “high performance” service industries.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study of 254 firms from nine different service industries is conducted to answer the objectives of this study.

Findings

Four competitive priorities are identified: cost, quality, delivery and flexibility. Six service industries namely fast food, hospital, retail store, bank, private college and accountant industries are found to be focused on quality while three industries namely hotel, auto‐repair and architect prioritized delivery. For both high performance and low performance firms, quality remained the top competitive priority followed by delivery, flexibility and cost.

Originality/value

This is the first study that identifies competitive priorities in the Malaysian service sector

Details

Business Strategy Series, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-5637

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 November 2008

M. Tawfik Mady

The purpose of this paper is to report and discuss the manufacturing competitive priorities (cost, delivery, quality, flexibility, and innovativeness) practiced by Kuwaiti…

635

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report and discuss the manufacturing competitive priorities (cost, delivery, quality, flexibility, and innovativeness) practiced by Kuwaiti manufacturers. It also investigates the possible impact of plant size and type of industry on the level of focus at different priorities. In addition, the level of association between different pairs of competitive priorities was investigated. This allowed testing the traditional competitive priorities trade‐off model which was frequently argued by early operations strategy researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

The data collection method used in this study is that of the questionnaire that was administrated in 62 Kuwaiti plants working in two different industries, food processing and refractors. Level of focus (on a five‐point Likert scale) at each of the five competitive priorities, type of industry and number of employees were the main research variables. Since ordinal scales are used in the current study to measure the plant focus on the five competitive priorities, Mann‐Whitney test for two independent samples was used to test for the effect of type of industry and Kruska‐Wallis test was utilized to investigate the relationship between plant size and the level of focus on each competitive priority. In addition, testing the level of associations between degrees of emphasis on different pairs of competitive priorities was through the Goodman and Kruskal's γ coefficients.

Findings

Empirical evidence is provided that plant size is a useful indicator of the emphasis on some competitive priorities. It shows that small and medium plants place significantly more emphasis on on‐time delivery while medium and large plants are distinguished by their strong emphasis on flexibility. However, difference size groups indicate the same level of focus on quality improvement, cost reduction and innovativeness. Noticeably, the two industrial sectors do not differ significantly in their level of focus on each of the five competitive priorities. The two industries focused on on‐time delivery and quality improvement strategies as the two main competitive priorities. Both flexibility and innovativeness were the least emphasized priorities in both sectors. The preliminary findings do not seem to support the main argument of the competitive priorities trade‐off model.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the limitation of data, only employment was the only indicator of plant size. Total revenue and total assets could be used in future studies to verify or deny these findings. Moreover, using a better multidimensional construct in measuring the level of focus on each competitive priority represents another way of improving this study.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the scarce body of empirical studies of manufacturing strategies in newly emerged economies. This is especially true in the Middle East and the Gulf areas. The findings augment the development of a better contingency theory of plant competitive priorities to capture the complexity of different plant characteristics.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Anand Nair and William R. Boulton

This paper aims to examine how firms, operating in mature and growing industries, can improve the alignment of their operations strategy to fit situations characterized by…

4290

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how firms, operating in mature and growing industries, can improve the alignment of their operations strategy to fit situations characterized by varying rates of industry growth and technological changes.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors enhance the operations strategy typology presented by Lei and Slocum by incorporating an enhanced set of competitive priorities and supporting structure/infrastructure requirements into their four cell matrix. They then introduce a stage‐based model of environmental dynamism and complexity that can foster major transitions in operations strategy.

Findings

Industry growth and technological change interact to create alternative environments with varying levels of dynamism and complexity requiring realignment of operations strategy. With increasing rates of technological change, the authors emphasize an urgent need to include innovation as a competitive priority (along with cost, quality, delivery and flexibility) to proactively adapt operations strategy to fit changing environments. It is also necessary for managers to ensure a fit between their competitive priorities and the development of supporting structures/infrastructures to ensure effective implementation of competitive operations strategy.

Originality/value

Operations strategy literature has not focused attention on the basic goals and capabilities needed to implement or adapt to today's dynamic environments. This study adds innovation as a competitive priority and improves our understanding of adaptation of operations strategy to alternative environments created by the interaction of industry growth and technological change. Specifically, by focusing on competitive priorities and supporting capabilities in dynamic environments, the authors provide directions for implementing changes to operations strategy.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2018

Fazli Idris and M. Muzamil Naqshbandi

The purpose of this study is to explain the components of competitive priorities of Indian service firms, to find out the competitive priorities of different service…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explain the components of competitive priorities of Indian service firms, to find out the competitive priorities of different service industries in India and to find out how these competitive priorities change across low- and high-performing service firms.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study of 166 firms from five different service industries is undertaken in New Delhi and its surroundings.

Findings

The results reveal the presence of three competitive priorities in the services sector in India: cost, flexibility and quality/delivery, with quality/delivery being the most distinctive competitive priority. Hotel and auto-repair industries are found to be focused on controlling costs, while hospitals, banks and private colleges prioritized quality/delivery. For high-performing firms, cost is the top most competitive priority, followed by quality/delivery and flexibility, while for low-performing firms, quality/delivery remains the top most competitive priority, followed by flexibility and cost.

Originality/value

The paper enhances the understanding of competitive priorities in the Indian services sector. The identification of competitive priorities of different service industries in India and their dynamics across different industries add value to the current literature and fill an important research gap. Additionally, surveying diverse industries in this paper reveals a holistic picture of the Indian service industry and helps achieve some degree of cross-industry perspective.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Stuart Christopher Orr

States that manufacturing competence in organizations is determined by the competitive priorities of those organizations and the key operating decisions which they make to…

1563

Abstract

States that manufacturing competence in organizations is determined by the competitive priorities of those organizations and the key operating decisions which they make to achieve those competitive priorities. Sets out to investigate whether manufacturing strategy can be applied to an industry which is not traditionally thought of as manufacturing by determining the industry’s competitive priorities and key decision areas and the relationship between them. Finds that there was a set of competitive priorities and key decision areas which apply to the Australian wine industry and that the most important key decision areas (plant capacity, quality assurance, plant and equipment, production planning and control, product design and top management involvement) were similar to those which apply to many other manufacturing industries.

Details

Benchmarking for Quality Management & Technology, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1351-3036

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

Ravi Kathuria and Magid Igbaria

Presents an integrated framework that would help manufacturing managers to select IT applications (manufacturing management systems) that are best suited to a given…

1217

Abstract

Presents an integrated framework that would help manufacturing managers to select IT applications (manufacturing management systems) that are best suited to a given process structure and the intended competitive priorities of a firm. The proposed framework is based on the premiss that the process of matching IT applications to competitive priorities involves identification of key manufacturing tasks underlying different priorities and the corresponding process structures. The theoretic‐deductive approach is used to link the three vital elements ‐ competitive priorities, process structures and IT applications ‐ in the following application areas: product design, demand management, capacity planning, inventory management, shopfloor systems, quality management and distribution.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2000

Fernando C.A. Santos

This article investigates the relationship between the functional areas of manufacturing and human resources by analysing the practices of human resource management…

7761

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between the functional areas of manufacturing and human resources by analysing the practices of human resource management associated with the competitive priorities of manufacturing strategy, e.g. quality, delivery performance, flexibility and cost. Within strategic business management, both the competitive priorities of manufacturing and the practices of human resource management need to be observed by the whole organisation. In this way, this study presents how human resource management practices are aligned to business strategies based on cost reduction, quality, delivery performance and product innovation. These practices may also be arranged in different ways in a particular competitive strategy.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Borut Rusjan

Proposes a model of strategic planning as a basis to overcome the identified shortcomings in the past empirical research. The basic assumption of the proposed model is…

5108

Abstract

Purpose

Proposes a model of strategic planning as a basis to overcome the identified shortcomings in the past empirical research. The basic assumption of the proposed model is that an appropriate strategic analysis is necessary in order to ensure appropriate strategic decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

Shortcomings related to empirical research in the past were identified with the aim of discussing some possible reasons why the concept of manufacturing strategy had not been more widely adopted in practice and of developing the model of strategic planning. Based on the proposed model and relating to previous research, an empirical study of two relationships has been performed: first, between business strategic competence of an enterprise and business performance, and second, between business strategic competence and manufacturing strategic decision areas.

Findings

The goals of analysis in the process of strategic planning have been explained. Empirical findings about a positive relationship between business performance and business strategic competence confirmed the results of previous research. Some empirically significant relationships between strategic decision areas and manufacturing competitive priorities results were identified.

Practical implications

In order to guarantee effective decision making, the role of the analysis in the process of planning has to be understood. This phase of the planning process is not getting enough attention from practitioners. This results in decision making for which quick jumping to solution‐seeking is characteristic, without appropriate determination of problems beforehand.

Originality/value

The paper emphasises the importance of strategic analysis and problem identification to appropriate strategic decision making. This holds true not only of practical strategic decision making inside specific companies, but also of design and implementation of empirical research.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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