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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Shouhong Wang

Plant configuration management systems address all phases of the plant’s life cycle, from engineering design, re‐design, maintenance, to operations. However, as yet little…

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1529

Abstract

Plant configuration management systems address all phases of the plant’s life cycle, from engineering design, re‐design, maintenance, to operations. However, as yet little research has been reported on plant configuration management information systems analysis. During the past decade, the object‐oriented approach has received much attention in information systems development. This paper describes an object structure for plant configuration management systems analysis. Three major aspects of configuration management (maintenance, re‐design change, and business process) and fundamental types of objects engaged in configuration management are described. The association between these objects is then built through identifying the messages between the objects. Practical application of this framework shows that it is useful for the analysis and design of a plant configuration management information system.

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Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 99 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Keith T. Phelan, Joshua David Summers, Mary E. Kurz, Crystal Wilson, Bryan Wayne Pearce, Joerg Schulte and Stephan Knackstedt

The purpose of this paper is to propose a three-staged approach to configuration change management that uses a combination of complexity analysis, data visualization, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a three-staged approach to configuration change management that uses a combination of complexity analysis, data visualization, and algorithmic validation to assist in validating configuration changes.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to accomplish the above purpose, the authors conducted a review of existing configuration management practices. This was followed by an in-depth case study of the configuration management practices of a major automotive OEM. The primary means of data collection for the case study were interviews, ethnographic study, and document analysis. Based on the results of the case study, a set of support tools is proposed to assist in the configuration management process.

Findings

Through the case study, the authors identified that the OEM used a configuration management method that largely represented the rule-based reasoning methods identified in the literature review. In addition, many of the associated challenges are present, primarily, the difficulty in making changes to the rule system and evaluating the changes.

Research limitations/implications

The primary limitation is that the case study was based on a single OEM. However, the results are in line with other practices identified in the literature review. Therefore, it is expected that the findings and recommendations should hold true in other applications.

Practical implications

A set of configuration management tools and associated requirements are identified and defined that could be used to assist companies in the automotive industry, and perhaps others, in managing their option changes as they continue to move towards full mass customization of products.

Originality/value

The proposed approach for configuration management has not been seen in any other organization. The value of this paper is in the effectiveness of the proposed approach in assisting in the configuration change management process.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Huibin Sun and Zhiyong Chang

The functionality and reliability of an overhauled aero-engine is determined by all configuration changes in the overhaul process. Identifying, recording, auditing…

Abstract

Purpose

The functionality and reliability of an overhauled aero-engine is determined by all configuration changes in the overhaul process. Identifying, recording, auditing, tracking and tracing of configuration modifications are significant and meaningful. Considering the barriers to these goals, this paper aims to put forward an approach to configuration management in the aero-engine overhaul process.

Design/methodology/approach

The overhaul configuration management model is proposed to describe an aero-engine’s configuration evolution trajectory in the overhaul process. The controlling and auditing procedures are put forward to control and audit parts’ return-to-zero statuses and overproof statuses. And some searching algorithms are also designed to enable tracking and tracing of the configuration status along the time coordinate, or get a snapshot of an aero-engine’s configuration at a certain time. The above model, procedures and algorithms have been implemented and adopted to fulfill the configuration management requirements in the aero-engine overhaul process.

Findings

The approach is effective in identifying, recording, controlling, auditing, tracking and tracing configuration changes in the overhaul process.

Practical implications

The approach’s implementation and adoption present a practical example for aero-engines’ configuration management issue in the overhaul process.

Originality/value

The work proposes an original aero-engine configuration management solution for the overhaul process and enables a reliable and accurate configuration management mode.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 90 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2018

Yongyi Shou, Wen Che, Jing Dai and Fu Jia

Through examining the two constructs of inter-organizational complementarity and inter-organizational compatibility in supply chains, the purpose of this paper is to…

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1187

Abstract

Purpose

Through examining the two constructs of inter-organizational complementarity and inter-organizational compatibility in supply chains, the purpose of this paper is to develop a taxonomy of focal firms’ inter-organizational fit (IOF) configurations with their suppliers and customers, and examine the relationship between these configurations and environmental innovation (EI) in order to answer the question of “with whom” to collaborate for EI development.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey instrument was elaborated and data from a sample of 171 US firms were collected. The authors adopted cluster analysis to identify the IOF taxonomy. Canonical discriminant analysis was employed to uncover underlying dimensions between clustering variables and cluster membership. Then, ANOVA tests were conducted to investigate relationships between IOF configurations in the context of EI in supply chains.

Findings

Three configurations were identified based on the complementarity and compatibility between focal firms and their supply chain partners. It is observed that the overall IOF level is positively related to firms’ EI outcomes. Moreover, inter-organizational complementarity facilitates incremental EI while inter-organizational compatibility plays a more crucial role in radical EI. Both are required to achieve the best innovation outcome.

Originality/value

This research develops the first taxonomy for depicting IOF in a supply chain innovation context and also clarifies different rationale behind the development of incremental and radical EI through examining distinctive effects of the complementarity and compatibility with supply chain partners.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2018

Sara Shafiee, Katrin Kristjansdottir, Lars Hvam and Cipriano Forza

This paper aims to explore the use of the knowledge management (KM) perspective for configuration projects. Configuration projects implement configurators as information…

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1077

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the use of the knowledge management (KM) perspective for configuration projects. Configuration projects implement configurators as information technology systems that help companies manage the specification process of customised products. An effective method of retrieving and formalising knowledge for configurators is essential, because it can reduce the risk of unsuccessful implementation and the time and effort required for development. Unfortunately, no standard KM frameworks are available specifically for configuration projects. This study identifies the knowledge necessary for different phases of a configuration project (which knowledge, for what purpose and from what sources), examines how it is transformed during a configuration project (what KM activities and tools are used) and establishes how the knowledge can be documented for future maintenance and updates.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes a four-step framework for making the KM process more efficient in configuration projects. The framework is based on the literature, developed in collaboration with industrial partners and tested on four configuration projects in two engineering companies. The framework is a structured KM approach designed to save time for both domain experts and the configuration team. The authors have used a qualitative exploratory design based on multiple data sources: documentation, workshops and participant observation.

Findings

The proposed framework comprises four steps: determination of the system’s scope, to establish the project’s goal based on stakeholders’ requirements and prioritise the required products and processes; knowledge acquisition, to classify the knowledge according to the desired output and identify different knowledge sources; modelling and knowledge validation; and documentation and maintenance, to ensure that the KM system can be maintained and updated in the future.

Research limitations/implications

Because the framework is tested on a limited number of cases, its generalisability may be limited. However, focusing on a few case applications allows us to assess the effectiveness of the framework in detail and in depth to identify the practical challenges of applying it. The results of the tests support the framework’s validity. Although the framework is designed mainly for engineering companies, other industries could benefit from using it as well.

Practical implications

The individual steps of the framework create a structured approach for the KM process. Thus, the approach can save both time and resources for companies, without the need for additional investment.

Originality/value

A standard framework is lacking in the literature on KM for configuration projects. This study fills that gap by developing a KM framework for configuration projects, based on KM frameworks developed for IT projects, and KM tools.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

Jagjit Singh Srai and Mike Gregory

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of configuration on supply network capability. It was believed that a configuration perspective might provide new…

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8310

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of configuration on supply network capability. It was believed that a configuration perspective might provide new insights on the capability and performance of supply networks, a gap in the literature, and provide a basis for the development of tools to aid their analysis and design.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology involved the development of a configuration definition and mapping approach extending established strategic and firm level constructs to the network operational level. The resulting tools were tested and refined in a series of case studies across a range of sectors and value chain models. Supply network capability assessments, from the perspective of the focal firm, were then compared with their configuration profiles.

Findings

The configuration mapping tools were found to give new insights into the structure of supply networks and allow comparisons to be made across sectors and business models through the use of consistent and quantitative methods and common presentation. They provide the foundations for linking configuration to capability and performance, and contribute to supply network design and development by highlighting the intrinsic capabilities associated with different configurations.

Research limitations/implications

Although multiple case networks have been investigated, the configuration exemplars remain suggestive models. The research suggests that a re‐evaluation of operational process excellence models is needed, where the link between process maturity and performance may require a configuration context.

Practical implications

Advantages of particular configurations have been identified with implications for supply network development and industrial policy.

Originality/value

The paper seeks to develop established strategic management configuration concepts to the analysis and design of supply networks by providing a robust operational definition of supply network configuration and novel tools for their mapping and assessment.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

M.J. Oltra, C. Maroto and B. Segura

Seeks to focus on operations priority patterns and operations strategy. Configurations by testing them in a specific environment which contributes to demonstrating their…

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3705

Abstract

Purpose

Seeks to focus on operations priority patterns and operations strategy. Configurations by testing them in a specific environment which contributes to demonstrating their applicability and generalizability.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from 130 Spanish companies with project process organization, their operations strategy is analyzed as a whole, without the following of a trade‐off pattern being observed.

Findings

Cost, conformer and innovation strategy types, compared with other operations strategy configurations regarding variables used to develop project management configurations, for the most part exhibit a coherent behaviour, giving support to operations strategy validation at a higher theoretical level.

Research limitations/implications

The two most important limitations are the relatively small sample size used in the study and the results obtained with the organization structure variable. Similar studies in other specific production process contexts should also be undertaken.

Practical implications

Results obtained contribute to demonstrating the applicability of the operations strategy framework to the study of operations management in different environments and its coherence with the specific variables that are used to characterize them.

Originality/value

This study is virtually breaking new ground, prompted by recent calls for empirical research and for testing developed theories on operations management.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2019

Qingyao Wan, Yang Yuan and Fujun Lai

The purpose of this paper is to explore how external pressures, internal capability and transaction attributes of logistics outsourcing synergically influence the extent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how external pressures, internal capability and transaction attributes of logistics outsourcing synergically influence the extent of asset-based and non-asset-based logistics outsourcing.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the data surveyed from 250 manufacturing companies in China, this study employed fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to deduce multiple configurations for logistics outsourcing decisions.

Findings

The results suggest that asset-based logistics outsourcing is primarily driven by external imitation pressures or internal demands for logistics technologies, while non-asset-based logistics outsourcing is mainly driven by the demands for external management-based logistics services. Asset specificity plays a positive role in promoting both asset-based and non-asset-based logistics outsourcing. The requirement for third-party logistics (3PL) management capability depends on the outsourcing types and outsourcing causes.

Practical implications

This study provides guidance to practitioners for them to make outsourcing decisions. It suggests that asset-based logistics outsourcing is more appropriate when there are high external imitation pressures or more internal logistics demands, while non-asset-based logistics outsourcing should be used only when a firm needs management-based logistics services. Besides, 3PL users are suggested to outsource their logistics when their 3PL providers are required to make specific investments. In addition, managers should carefully evaluate firms’ capabilities in managing outsourcing relationships.

Originality/value

Previous studies largely ignored the interaction effects of a set of factors on logistics outsourcing decisions, and to date, little research empirically examined how outsourcing is driven in terms of different types of outsourcing. Drawing on the institutional theory, dynamic capability view, and transaction cost theory and overarching under the complexity theory, this study examines how institutional, organizational and transactional factors interplay with each other to influence different types of logistics outsourcing (i.e. asset based and non-asset based). Methodologically, the configural analysis (i.e. fsQCA) is applied to explore complex causal configurations that drive logistics outsourcing.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Antonella Martini and Luisa Pellegrini

Seeks to discuss barriers/drivers to the selection and implementation of different knowledge management configurations in the process of product innovation.

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1869

Abstract

Purpose

Seeks to discuss barriers/drivers to the selection and implementation of different knowledge management configurations in the process of product innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on literature and the previous survey‐based research results, this study compares on a longitudinal perspective the approaches of two companies with similar conditions but adopting different choices in terms of ICT and organisational tools to support the knowledge management process.

Findings

Case studies highlight how firms adopting a KMC that differ from the one indicated by the previous survey‐based research model show an intention to align to it in the near future. Hence, it seems that a match exists between the configuration expected from the model and the intended configuration planned by the company. Using longitudinal case studies the paper analyses the barriers that hamper the transition of firms toward the approach that better suits their contingent situation. These barriers are mainly at the level of industry trend, lack of culture from users and loss of champions. This paper also analyses the enablers, which strengthen the alignment between the configuration expected from the model and the intended configuration the company planned. These are the social interaction between employees, the pressures from headquarters, the internal commitment from top managers, the technological development and the ICT maturity.

Originality/value

The paper validates two hypotheses. H1: there is a match between the configuration expected from the research model (driven by contingencies) and the intended configuration planned by the company: the contingent approaches which disagree with the model represent different stages of maturity within an evolutionary path which drives toward the configuration expected from the model. H2: there are barriers/enablers, which hamper/foster the transition toward the intended configuration. It also analyses the barriers.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 January 2021

Giulio Ferrigno, Giovanni Battista Dagnino and Nadia Di Paola

Drawing upon the importance of research and development (R&D) alliances in driving firm innovation performance, extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon the importance of research and development (R&D) alliances in driving firm innovation performance, extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D alliance partner attributes on firm innovation performance. Despite such analyzes, research has generally underestimated the configurations of partner attributes leading to firm innovation performance. This research gap is interesting to explore, as firms involved in R&D alliances usually face a combination of partner attributes. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of how R&D partner attributes tie into configurations is an issue that is attracting particular interest in coopetition research and alliance literature. This paper aims to obtain a better knowledge of this underrated, but important, aspect of alliances by exploring what configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes lead firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance. To tackle this question, first, this study reviews the extant literature on R&D alliances by relying on the knowledge-based view of alliances to identify the most impactful partner attributes on firms’ innovation performance. This paper then applies a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to explore the configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes that lead firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study selects 27 R&D alliances formed worldwide in the telecom industry. This paper explores the multiple configurations of partner attributes of these alliances by conducting a fsQCA.

Findings

The findings of the fsQCA show that the two alternate configurations of partner attributes guided the firms involved in these alliances to achieve high innovation performance: a configuration with extensive partner technological relatedness and coopetition, but no experience; and a configuration with extensive partner experience and competition, but no technological relatedness.

Research limitations/implications

The research highlights the importance of how partner attributes (i.e. partner technological relatedness, partner competitive overlap, partner experience and partner relative size) tie, with regard to the firms’ access to external knowledge and consequently to their willingness to achieve high innovation performance. Moreover, this paper reveals the beneficial effect of competition on the innovation performance of the firms involved in R&D alliances when some of the other knowledge-based partner attributes are considered. Despite these insights for alliance and coopetition literature, some limitations are to be noted. First, some of the partners’ attributes considered could be further disentangled into sub-partner attributes. Second, other indicators might be used to measure firms’ innovation performance. Third, as anticipated this study applies fsQCA to explore the combinatory effects of partner attributes in the specific context of R&D alliances in the telecom industry worldwide and in a specific time window. This condition may question the extensibility of the results to other industries and times.

Practical implications

This study also bears two interesting implications for alliance managers. First, the paper suggests that R&D alliance managers need to be aware that potential alliance partners have multiple attributes leading to firm innovation performance. In this regard, partner competitive overlap is particularly important for gaining a better understanding of firm innovation performance. When looking for strategic partners, managers should try to ally with highly competitive enterprises so as to access their more innovative knowledge. Second, the results also highlight that this beneficial effect of coopetition in R&D alliances can be amplified in two ways. On the one hand, when the partners involved in the alliance have not yet developed experience in forming alliances. Partners without previous experience supply ideal stimuli to unlock more knowledge in the alliance because new approaches to access and develop knowledge in the alliance could be explored. On the other hand, this paper detects the situation when the allied partners are developing technologies and products in different areas. When partnering with firms coming from different technological areas, the knowledge diversity that can be leveraged in the alliances could drive alliance managers to generate synergies and economies of scope within the coopetitive alliance.

Originality/value

Extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D alliance partner attributes on firm innovation performance but has concurrently underestimated the configurations of partner attributes leading to firm innovation performance. Therefore, this paper differs from previous studies, as it provides an understanding of the specific configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes leading firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 13
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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