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Article

Khuram Shahzad, Tahir Ali, Marko Kohtamäki and Josu Takala

This study aims to present an integrated framework and investigate the enabling roles of governance mechanisms (i.e. contract, interdependence, trust and communication) in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present an integrated framework and investigate the enabling roles of governance mechanisms (i.e. contract, interdependence, trust and communication) in the choice of effective conflict resolution strategies (CRS) that in turn facilitate buyer–supplier relationship (BSR) performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Web-survey, data are collected from 170 Finnish small- and medium-sized enterprises that have key relationships with suppliers. This study uses structural equation modeling to test the research framework and hypotheses of the study.

Findings

The results based on empirical evidence demonstrate how the firms’ choice of CRS depends on the governance mechanisms. The problem solving approach is the most preferable choice, while the legalistic approach remains the last resort influenced by different governance mechanisms. Interdependence and trust between firms drive them to compromise while resolving inter-organizational conflicts. The selected strategies by firms may also either reinforce or deteriorate relationship performance.

Practical implications

Supply chain managers should recognize the context in which these choices of CRS are made, as it guides them to anticipate their partner’s behavior as well as influences their strategy choice decisions when coping with conflicts. A trustworthy environment supports in providing a certain level of confidence while interdependency drives firms to compromise. The legalistic strategy can hurt the partner’s feelings and diminish relationship performance.

Originality/value

Conflicts in BSR have become inevitable, but the existing literature is missing evidence on how companies use CRS to enhance relationship performance. Hence, this study differs from those of earlier conflict studies, as it provides a more integrative perspective of buyer–supplier conflict resolution process. This study argues that relationship governance mechanisms can be connected to the choice of effective CRS when tensions arise. Moreover, by assessing the relationship between CRS and relationship performance, this study offers valuable insights to understand that effective strategies enable partners to mutually adapt constructive approaches that facilitate cooperative behavior and accommodate both parties’ interests and needs.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Jorge Gonzalez Prada, Aitor Cazon, Josu Carda and Ander Aseguinolaza

This paper aims to focus on the design, analysis and additive manufacturing (AM) with two different technologies of an accelerator pedal for the Formula Student 2014…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on the design, analysis and additive manufacturing (AM) with two different technologies of an accelerator pedal for the Formula Student 2014 edition to reduce the weight of the original pedal in aluminium and maintain a reasonable level of performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The new and the original accelerator pedals were modelled in a computer-aided design application, and three finite element simulations were performed for each manufacturing technology to evaluate three different driving scenarios. Later on, two physical prototypes were manufactured using two AM technologies: poly-jet and fused deposition modelling (FDM). With these physical prototypes, static tests were carried out to verify the computational simulations and to determine the fracture load, while dynamic tests, based on an input signal from a real racing scenario, were performed to ensure their technical viability.

Findings

Simulations with poly-jet and FDM printing material show that the new design presents a maximum deformation of 4.8 and 4.09 mm, respectively, under a nominal load of 150N. The results of the static tests with the poly-jet physical prototype showed a maximum displacement of 4.05 mm under a nominal load of 150N, while the ultimate load before fracture was 450N. The FDM prototype reached 3.98 mm under 150N and the ultimate load was 350N. Dynamic tests showed that both pedals were able to withstand four Formula Student “Endurance” events without failure.

Originality/value

This paper states that AM approach is a feasible and economically affordable solution in comparison to exiting solutions with metallic alloys and composite materials when designing and manufacturing accelerator pedal arms for Formula Student competition cars. According to these results, the present research argues that, from a technical point of view, the AM pedals stand at a reasonable level of performance in displacements and stresses. This study suggests that AM pedals could be a viable option that must be considered in professional competitive automobiles.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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Article

Josu Takala, Juha Leskinen, Henry Sivusuo, Jarkko Hirvelä and Tauno Kekäle

Researchers are keenly searching methods of analyzing, developing and implementing multi‐focused strategies. This is a challenging task because they are quite difficult to…

Abstract

Purpose

Researchers are keenly searching methods of analyzing, developing and implementing multi‐focused strategies. This is a challenging task because they are quite difficult to structure and, therefore, to assimilate. This study aims to present a new method that can be used further to assist decision‐makers in analyzing, evaluating and structuring strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

In this constructive case study, an illustrative sand cone model of the different levels and their relative importance ratings is developed using the AHP method. In total, 21 experts in strategies and tactics were involved in the three‐stage model development process.

Findings

With the help of this visualization model, implementation of a multi‐focused strategy in the case study organization was found to have a better fit for strategic decision making.

Originality/value

This is a unique research paper.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article

Yohanes Kristianto, Petri Helo and Josu Takala

This paper focuses on decision making related to the use of strategic inventory allocation in product platform design. The purpose of the paper is to present a novel…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on decision making related to the use of strategic inventory allocation in product platform design. The purpose of the paper is to present a novel approach to managing product variety by considering product and manufacturing strategy, and considering the supply chain benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

Discrete event simulation is used for analyzing product platform performance in terms of inventory level and throughput. Simulation parameters such as lead times and safety stock allocation are optimized by using an analytical model of strategic safety stock allocation.

Findings

The results show that strategic safety stock allocation supports product platform strategy by increasing production output, and reducing inventory level and customer order queues at a higher level of product variety.

Research limitations/implications

Linking the safety stock allocation and product platform strategy facilitates simultaneous product and process design by providing the most optimum platform strategy at minimum safety stock allocation.

Practical implications

Strategic safety stock allocation facilitates decision making with regard to lean strategy by reducing inventory level, agile strategy by increasing the amount of product variety and outputs, and responsiveness by reducing the number of customer order queues.

Originality/value

The paper presents an innovative customer order decoupling point decision.

Details

Journal of Advances in Management Research, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0972-7981

Keywords

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Article

Shubin Si, Josu Takala and Yang Liu

The purpose of this paper is to study the operational competitiveness and identify the development route of Chinese high‐tech manufacturing companies by comparing with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the operational competitiveness and identify the development route of Chinese high‐tech manufacturing companies by comparing with other similar international manufacturing companies of global manufacturing strategies database.

Design/methodology/approach

The preliminary analytical models for competitiveness analysis are used to analyze the operational competitiveness strategies in three different types of Chinese high‐tech manufacturing companies based on the weights of the multi‐criteria manufacturing strategies, which are calculated using analytic hierarchy process method. Benchmarking between case companies and leading companies of prospector, analyzer and defender groups is applied to evaluate the manufacturing strategies further.

Findings

As a result of the case studies, it is possible to understand operational competitiveness manufacturing strategies for the case companies, to show one development route for Chinese high‐tech manufacturing companies to be competitive in their markets.

Practical implications

Chinese high‐tech manufacturing companies have their own operational strategies in different development phase. The different weights of important factors such as quality, cost, time and flexibility make the case companies to have some advantages in prospector, analyzer and defender. The preliminary analytical models are effective for Chinese high‐tech manufacturing companies to calculate their operational competitiveness under the influence of Chinese culture and macro‐control.

Originality/value

Benchmarking of operational competitiveness is presented to evaluate the manufacturing strategies in this paper. One development route of Chinese high‐tech manufacturing companies, which is under the influence of Chinese culture and macro‐control, is promoted.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 109 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Mian M. Ajmal, Tauno Kekäle and Josu Takala

Projects almost invariably involve a variety of diversely skilled people from different national, organisational, and professional cultural backgrounds. These people come

Abstract

Purpose

Projects almost invariably involve a variety of diversely skilled people from different national, organisational, and professional cultural backgrounds. These people come together for a specific period of time to accomplish certain unique, unpredictable, and complex objectives. These distinctive characteristics mean that project‐based firms require a particular approach to knowledge management (KM) and learning activities that differs significantly from prevailing strategies. This paper aims to explore the way in which these distinctive cultural issues (national, organisational, and professional) influence KM in project‐based firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first looks at the general issues of KM and the “learning organisation”. Second, the study discusses the more specific issue of KM in project‐based firms. Third, the paper explores national, organisational, and professional cultures in the context of project‐based business. Finally, the paper draws the three preceding sections together to discuss the managerial implications of dealing with cultural issues in fostering KM in project‐based firms.

Findings

It is apparent that culture has a most significant influence on the KM capability of an organisation. The moral and budgetary support of senior management is essential for the success of any KM plan in project‐based business.

Research limitations/implications

This paper puts forward a conceptually grounded argument by stressing on cultural complexities to KM and learning in project environments. The key cultural issues highlighted here need to be empirically tested in future studies.

Practical implications

At the organisational level, people and processes must be the first priority for project managers who wish to nurture a “KM culture” in project‐based business. At the team level, the project manager can help to create a team culture conducive to KM by transmitting appropriate values and beliefs to the team members.

Originality/value

The paper helps practitioners and academics to understand the complexities of cultural issues during KM initiatives in the context of improving project performance.

Details

VINE, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Keywords

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Article

Alemu Moges Belay, Fentahun Moges Kasie, Petri Helo, Josu Takala and Daryl J. Powell

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between quality management practice and labor productivity in labor-intensive manufacturing companies in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between quality management practice and labor productivity in labor-intensive manufacturing companies in a developing nation and benchmark with the world average.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary and secondary data were collected from 34 selected companies. The primary data were obtained using a questionnaire survey to determine the quality management adoption level of each company using the European Business Excellence Model. Secondary data also collected in order to compute labor productivity of each organization and benchmark with international norms.

Findings

In this research, labor productivity is measured by revenues per employee and total assets per employee and found that adopting quality management has strong relationships with revenue per employee unlike total asset per employee that is weakly related.

Originality/value

Several authors suggest a positive relationship between adoption quality management principles and productivity in large organizations located in developed countries. However, this paper particularly focuses on labor productivity of labor-intensive companies.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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Article

Josu Takala, Udomsak Suwansaranyu and Kongkiti Phusavat

To propose a structured framework for measuring white‐collar workforce.

Abstract

Purpose

To propose a structured framework for measuring white‐collar workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed framework, designated as the multi‐dimension measurement process or the MDMP, is based on the nature of white‐collar work as well as on the strengths of current measurement techniques such as Zigon's. The experiment on comparing the MDMP with several techniques was conducted. The analytic hierarchical process (AHP) has been adopted to determine the usefulness and applicability of the MDMP. The follow‐up discussions with the participants and the surveys to external experts have also been made.

Findings

The research results imply potential usefulness and applications for the MDMP. Relatively to others, the MDMP has performed very highly with the set of prioritized criteria (from the AHP) that is used for this comparison, e.g. reliability, strategic congruence, measurement coverage, and user acceptance. Based on this experiment, the MDMP appears to ensure the alignment between strategies and measurement, and also to gain the acceptance by both workers and supervisors.

Research limitations/implications

Given the small size (16 participants) and the limited scope (participants mainly from the accounting and finance areas), it is not possible to provide a definite conclusion on the effectiveness of the MDMP. More experiments and tests will be needed to determine the level of the MDMP generalization.

Practical implications

A basis or a starting point to help develop a tool that can be used to measure white‐collar workforce.

Originality/value

This research incorporates several aspects relating to the work performed by white‐collar workforce from outputs/outcomes, skills, behavior, and organizational goals. The needs to develop the framework that measures and captures the performance of white‐collar workforce have been cited by several sources for many years. The focus on measuring the workforce level is mainly for appraisal/administrative purposes. As a result, the information may not reflect all aspects relating to the white‐collar work.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 106 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Josu Takala, Jarkko Hirvelä, Yang Liu and Dušan Malindžák

The purpose of this paper is to study multifocused global manufacturing strategies under the influence of “China effect” taking the dynamic, complex and situational…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study multifocused global manufacturing strategies under the influence of “China effect” taking the dynamic, complex and situational business strategies into account.

Design/methodology/approach

This study compares the competitive priorities of manufacturing strategies in four different types of companies with some international comparisons and one longitudinal case study for benchmarking. The analytical hierarchy process method also made it possible to compare inconsistencies in the answers between the companies.

Findings

As a result of these case studies, it is possible to understand the competitive priorities of manufacturing strategies for the case companies, to show the other companies the route for developments.

Practical implications

All four types of companies should grow internationally and utilize the developing countries as a means of lowering costs. Each type of company has its own special strategies to suit their markets. Companies in Western countries should utilize multifocused manufacturing strategies based on their business strategy in a holistic way, e.g. through responsiveness, agility and leanness concept, and to specialize through quality, e.g. by differentiating product and service technology for global high dynamic and complex business. Global sourcing in purchasing shall also be more and more used effectively for cost and productivity competitiveness.

Originality/value

The development steps, from technology specialist to problem solver, are proposed in this paper. Human resources have to be trained to be more “dynamic engineers,” all the time more also in industrial engineering and management.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 107 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Josu Takala, Amnat Bhufhai and Kongkiti Phusavat

To address multiple problems facing a company's top management with respect to the customer satisfaction survey. Is the customer satisfaction survey still suitable after…

Abstract

Purpose

To address multiple problems facing a company's top management with respect to the customer satisfaction survey. Is the customer satisfaction survey still suitable after many years of use? What method should be applied to help ensure better utilization of information from the customer satisfaction survey? Should the three aspects (i.e. quality, delivery, and responsiveness) representing the customer satisfaction continue to be used as part of the survey's main contents. As an ISO 9001: 2000 certified company, the customer satisfaction survey is required.

Design/methodology/approach

A method was proposed to help integrate the survey results with other key performance indicators (or ratios). This integration represented the verification effort on the suitability of the customer satisfaction survey. The examinations into the interrelationships between these three aspects the company's performance indicators included three perspectives. They were: no time‐factor consideration; one‐period time‐lag factor; and two‐period time‐lag factor. The set of key performance indicators was selected jointly with the company's top management.

Findings

The findings indicated that the quality and responsiveness aspects were still suitable. This was because these results were closely related to the production volumes, number of customer complaints, number of customers, and, etc. Therefore, the revision of the customer satisfaction survey needed to focus on adding other aspects such as flexibility and courtesy while doing away with the delivery aspect.

Practical implications

The proposed method, and its findings and recommendations received positive responses from the company's top management. This method utilized and related existing performance information in an integrated manner.

Originality/value

This study generated a potential approach to understand and to help interpret the customer satisfaction survey's results, to boost the utilization of relevant performance information, and likely to assist in a target‐setting process during a planning session.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 106 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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