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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2011

Mattias Hallgren, Jan Olhager and Roger G. Schroeder

The purpose of this paper is to present and test a new model for competitive capabilities. Traditionally, a cumulative model has been viewed as having one sequence of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present and test a new model for competitive capabilities. Traditionally, a cumulative model has been viewed as having one sequence of building competitive capabilities in a firm in support of market needs, including quality, delivery, cost efficiency and flexibility. Although appealing as a conceptual model, empirical testing has not been able to fully support the cumulative model. This paper acknowledges the need for a hybrid approach to managing capability progression. It brings together the literature on trade‐offs, cumulative capabilities, and order winners and qualifiers.

Design/methodology/approach

A new hybrid approach for modelling competitive capabilities is tested empirically using data from the high performance manufacturing (HPM) study, round 3, including three industries and seven countries – a total of 211 plants.

Findings

The hybrid model shows significantly better fit with the data from the sample than the cumulative models suggested by previous literature. Empirical support is found for the traditional perception that a high level of quality is a prerequisite for a high level of delivery performance. However, cost efficiency and flexibility do not exhibit a cumulative pattern. Instead, the results show that they are developed in parallel. The findings suggest that a balance between cost efficiency and flexibility is built upon high levels of quality and delivery performance.

Research limitations/implications

Since we limit the empirical investigation to three industries and seven countries, it would be interesting to extend the testing of this model to more industries and countries. This research shows that combining perspectives and insights from different research streams – in this case, trade‐off theory and the concepts of cumulative capabilities, and order winners and qualifiers – can be fruitful.

Practical implications

The results of this paper provides managers with guidelines concerning the configuration of competitive capabilities. First, a qualifying level of quality needs to be attained, followed by a qualifying level of delivery. Then, a balance between potential order winners, i.e. cost efficiency and flexibility, needs to be attained.

Originality/value

This paper presents a new approach to modelling competitive capabilities that synthesises previous research streams and perspectives from cumulative capabilities, contesting capabilities (trade‐offs), and order winners and qualifiers.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2020

Mantas Vilkas, Inga Stankevice and Rimantas Rauleckas

Cumulative capability models are dominating frameworks explaining how manufacturing organizations gain their performance capabilities, such as quality, delivery…

Abstract

Purpose

Cumulative capability models are dominating frameworks explaining how manufacturing organizations gain their performance capabilities, such as quality, delivery, flexibility and cost. When innovation capabilities are excluded from the framework, the models are incapable of explaining how companies sustain substantive capabilities in a changing environment. Responding to this gap, the purpose of this paper is to propose and test a “sand cone” cumulative capability model that includes the innovation competitive performance alongside the competitive performance of quality, delivery flexibility and cost.

Design/methodology/approach

Two competing cumulative models were proposed. The extended cumulative capability model hypothesizes the development of innovation in sequence with other competitive performance dimensions. The affected with innovation cumulative model hypothesizes innovation performance as a predecessor of other performance dimensions. The models were tested using a multimethod approach on a representative sample of 500 manufacturing companies. An analysis of correlations among competitive performance, frequencies of plants following prescribed sequences, fit statistics of covariance-based structural equation modeling and analysis of strength and statistical significance of path coefficients enabled us to select a model that best represents the collected data.

Findings

The findings reveal that innovation competitive performance operates as a predecessor of quality, delivery, flexibility and cost and is developed in relation to these performance dimensions. The modified model also provides a theoretical explanation of how innovation performance helps to sustain reliable production systems that can perform consistently over time within a tolerable range of quality, delivery, flexibility and cost performance.

Practical implications

The results are significant for practitioners, especially for companies that are operating in volatile environments because the results provide insight on how to develop innovation competitive performance in relation to quality, delivery, flexibility and cost performance.

Originality/value

This study extends the cumulative capability models with innovation competitive performance. It advances the contingency approach on cumulative capability models.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2011

Nan (Chris) Liu, Aleda V. Roth and Elliot Rabinovich

Extant manufacturing strategy research dichotomizes the trade‐off model and the cumulative model, but fails to explain each strategic result. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

Extant manufacturing strategy research dichotomizes the trade‐off model and the cumulative model, but fails to explain each strategic result. The purpose of this paper is to propose four key antecedents of a trade‐off versus a cumulative model by manufacturing business units (MBUs), and in turn, their association with business performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors first review literature pertaining to the history and major themes of manufacturing strategy. Next, the authors present a theoretical model with explanations of the methodology and research design used. The model is empirically tested, and conclusions, managerial implications, and future research opportunities that stem from this research effort are provided.

Findings

Strategic time orientation, as well as manufacturing practices of supply chain integration intensity and advanced manufacturing technology, are empirically found to be associated with MBUs' combinative competitive capabilities. More specifically, manufacturers following these practices are more apt to realize higher levels combinative capabilities, as depicted by the cumulative model.

Originality/value

The paper shows that these manufacturing practices may extend the time within which the MBU reaches its capability frontiers, and therefore, increase the odds that it can exploit its current resources. Moreover, MBU size negatively moderates the relationship between advanced manufacturing technology and the cumulative model.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

Kwasi Amoako‐Gyampah and Jack R. Meredith

The purpose of this paper is to test the cumulative capabilities theory of manufacturing strategy against the capabilities tradeoffs theory in a less‐developed economy. It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the cumulative capabilities theory of manufacturing strategy against the capabilities tradeoffs theory in a less‐developed economy. It also aims to test whether the sequential development of capabilities follows the same order prescribed in the sand cone model.

Design/methodology/approach

Specific hypotheses on the relationships among the four manufacturing strategy components of cost, delivery, flexibility, and quality were stated. Data were collected from 126 manufacturing firms in Ghana. Statistical analyses included correlation, factor analysis, and multiple regression analysis.

Findings

As with previous studies, the evidence here supports the cumulative capabilities theory. However, tradeoffs between the capabilities of quality, cost, delivery, and flexibility were not found. In addition, the sequence of capability development was found to be different from that in developed economies, with cost being second in importance after quality. This is postulated to be due to the substantially different economic conditions in Ghana.

Practical implications

The findings of this research provide guidelines to managers, particularly in developing economies, on the sequence of manufacturing capability development that is most likely to occur as they seek lasting improvements in manufacturing performance.

Originality/value

This paper provides findings from a less‐developed economic environment that is typically not included in manufacturing strategy research – Ghana. The consistency of the results with those obtained in more advanced economies provides additional evidence for the cumulative capability model.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 27 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2010

Roberto Sarmiento

The purpose of this paper is to highlight issues with current methodologies and rationales used to model the achievement of high business performance in operations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight issues with current methodologies and rationales used to model the achievement of high business performance in operations management studies, particularly those dealing with the trade‐offs – cumulative capabilities concepts. The paper also attempts to provide solutions to these problems.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual approach and critique of previous methodologies and rationales is utilised. In particular, use is made of a “thought experiment” in order to illustrate the issues that need to be addressed.

Findings

Widely accepted approaches and rationales used to model the achievement of high levels of performance are limited. This is particularly true when more recent theoretical developments in the field are considered. Thus, more comprehensive methodologies, rationales and terminologies that resolve the identified difficulties are necessary. To address this issue, this paper offers a more holistic way to examine the relationships between two or more competitive criteria.

Practical implications

The main implications are related to research methodologies, rationales and approaches.

Originality/value

The paper makes two important and novel contributions to this area of research: it brings the attention to problems that have been largely ignored, and it provides solutions to these issues. The results should be of interest to researchers in the area of strategic/operations management, especially those interested in the modelling of high levels of firm performance, as represented by the trade‐offs and cumulative capabilities concepts.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Alka Ashwini Nand, Prakash J. Singh and Damien Power

The purpose of this paper is to test the integrated model of operations strategy as proposed by Schmenner and Swink to explain whether firms trade‐off or accumulate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the integrated model of operations strategy as proposed by Schmenner and Swink to explain whether firms trade‐off or accumulate capabilities, taking into account their positions relative to their asset and operating frontiers.

Design/methodology/approach

The four major airlines based in Australia were studied. The paper is based on longitudinal data obtained from secondary sources. The four operations capabilities cost, quality, delivery and flexibility, and asset and operating frontiers, were all measured with proxy variables.

Findings

The study provides some support for the integrated model. Firms do appear to trade‐off capabilities when their asset and operating frontiers are close to each other. Firms show signs of accumulation when the asset frontiers are expanding significantly over time. There is indirect evidence that firms could be accumulating capabilities when the gap between the two frontiers is large.

Practical implications

The study provides insights into when firms trade‐off or accumulate capabilities. A good understanding of asset and operating frontiers is important in this regard. Managers need to better identify, establish and combine their firms' capabilities in response to varying internal and external contingencies.

Originality/value

The paper provides an original and detailed empirical validation of Schmenner and Swink's integrated model. In doing so, this study contributes to informing and clarifying the debate in the operations strategy area relating to the circumstances in which firms trade‐off and/or accumulate capabilities.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2018

Marcia Regina Santiago Scarpin and Luiz Artur Ledur Brito

The purpose of this paper is to identify the operational capabilities in an emerging country, and to analyze the trade-off effect between the quality capability and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the operational capabilities in an emerging country, and to analyze the trade-off effect between the quality capability and the cost capability.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data were drawn from 160 firms in Brazil. Scales were validated using the Q-sort method and confirmatory factor analysis. Different techniques were adopted to reduce common method variance. Data were analyzed using multiple line regression.

Findings

The results showed that quality has a positive relationship with delivery, flexibility, innovation and sustainability capabilities. However, it was not possible to observe a positive relationship between quality and cost that confirmed the presence of a trade-off between these two capabilities.

Practical implications

An important practical contribution of this study is that it brings a new perspective to the relationship between quality and cost. Although quality is an important capability for the firm, emerging country managers need to understand that its implementation will take time and money; quality does not indicate an immediate reduction in cost.

Originality/value

This study helps expand research into operational capabilities in lesser-developed countries, such as Brazil. Most of the research on operational capabilities is conducted in industrialized countries. The paper also discusses the trade-off between the quality capability and cost capability. The results show that quality does not always lead to a reduction in cost.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Yen-Tsang Chen, Ronaldo Gomes Dultra-de-Lima, João Mário Csillag and José Carlos Tiomatsu Oyadomari

The purpose of this paper is to investigate if the organization competitive orientation can really make firms emphasize different internal capability. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate if the organization competitive orientation can really make firms emphasize different internal capability. This paper aims to revisit and extend the study proposed by Fleury and Fleury (2003).

Design/methodology/approach

The survey instrument was employed to collect the sample composed by 163 companies from different sectors of Brazilian market. Additionally, several statistic techniques were applied such as cluster analysis, ANOVA test and hierarchical regression analysis to investigate the phenomenon.

Findings

It was observed that three possible clusters can be built based on cumulative capabilities perspective and the Operation oriented group has no emphasis on production, logistic nether R & D capability, while other two clusters have a distinctive attentions on their internal capabilities.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this research lies in using perceptual scale for performance and few constructs with one item for measuring. On the other hand, this research has revisited the taxonomy topic based on cumulative capability perspective and discussed the trade-off concepts assumed in past studies.

Practical implications

This study has demonstrated the absence of systematic strategy implementation of those that are considered Operational oriented. Additionally, the authors have demonstrated that market share and customer satisfaction performance are impacted by different competitive priority as well as internal capability.

Originality/value

The authors reviewed the work proposed by Fleury and Fleury (2003), and went further in proposing a taxonomy complementation suggested by them. Additionally the authors discussed the assumptions of the taxonomies that have been adopted up today and explored this issue using cumulative capabilities concept. This work is based on competitive orientations, internal capability and cumulative capabilities suggested by seminar papers.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2019

Steven Hutton and Stephen Eldridge

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the productivity performance at the firm level from the perspective of manufacturing capability development at the process…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the productivity performance at the firm level from the perspective of manufacturing capability development at the process level. Moreover, it reveals how alignment of manufacturing capabilities with market requirements has influenced a firm’s productivity over a period that includes the 2008 global recession.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework was derived from established theories and employed as part of a case study design encompassing a multiple methods research approach. The case of a UK SME was selected to reflect some of the issues associated with the wider productivity stagnation experienced by the UK economy in recent years.

Findings

The firm’s manufacturing strategy had become incrementally misaligned with market requirements due to external changes in its business environment. The complex relationships between capabilities such as quality, speed and cost were characterised. Realigning the firm’s manufacturing strategy to regain productivity performance required a range of prioritised actions including capital investment and changes in management practices concerning bottom-up process improvement and regular, top-down strategy review.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the case study cannot be generalised and the outcomes are specific to just one firm. However, the approach lends itself to replication, particularly within SMEs.

Originality/value

Prior studies have focussed on capability development at higher levels of abstraction. The study operationalized established theoretical perspectives at the firm level to derive context-based outcomes that can be used to improve manufacturing strategy alignment and productivity. Furthermore, the study contributes empirical evidence from the SME sector to the ongoing debate regarding the UK’s productivity puzzle.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 68 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Roberto Sarmiento, Mike Byrne, Luis Rene Contreras and Nick Rich

To provide a selective bibliography on reported empirical evidence regarding the compatibility/trade‐offs relationships between delivery reliability and other…

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a selective bibliography on reported empirical evidence regarding the compatibility/trade‐offs relationships between delivery reliability and other manufacturing capabilities, and also identify specific areas for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper conceptually examines published studies which have reported a trade‐off/compatibility situation between delivery reliability and other manufacturing capabilities such as internal quality, external quality, manufacturing costs, inventory costs, etc. Some different aspects of delivery reliability are also discussed.

Findings

Principally, the paper identifies a need to study in more detail the different variables (manufacturing capabilities, contextual variables and manufacturing practices) that could be potentially associated with the achievement of high manufacturing efficiency (high levels of outputs/low levels of inputs) in terms of delivery reliability, materials inventory and safety resources.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review in the paper is intended to be exhaustive. Nevertheless, it is probable that scientific papers that report related/relevant material are involuntarily omitted.

Practical implications

By means of a detailed review of the literature, the paper identifies specific themes for future research. The paper also should be of help to practitioners as it gathers the empirical evidence regarding the compatibility/trade‐off situation between delivery reliability and other areas of manufacturing.

Originality/value

Some papers have dealt with literature reviews on manufacturing strategy as a whole. Nevertheless, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that offers a literature review on delivery reliability. This paper also suggests a novel model of manufacturing efficiency and also proposes a methodology (data envelopment analysis) with which this approach can be examined in more detail.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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