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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

This article has been withdrawn as it was published elsewhere and accidentally duplicated. The original article can be seen here: 10.1108/eb054798. When citing the…

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5508

Abstract

This article has been withdrawn as it was published elsewhere and accidentally duplicated. The original article can be seen here: 10.1108/eb054798. When citing the article, please cite: Nigel Slack, (1987), “The Flexibility of Manufacturing Systems”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 7 Iss: 4, pp. 35 - 45.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Alistair Brandon‐Jones, Niall Piercy and Nigel Slack

The aim of this review and of the papers in this special issue is to critically examine different approaches to teaching operations management (OM) in order to provoke and…

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2679

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this review and of the papers in this special issue is to critically examine different approaches to teaching operations management (OM) in order to provoke and stimulate educators within the discipline.

Design/methodology/approach

The papers within this special issue include empirical assessments of a problem‐based learning enterprise resource planning (ERP) simulation; a computer‐based learning tool for material requirements planning (MRP); a simulation of assembly operations; an operations strategy innovation game; an extension of the production dice game; an experiential teaching method in different class settings; and problem‐based assessment methods in OM. A variety of data are used to support these empirical studies, including survey, interview, and observational data.

Findings

The papers within the special issue support the argument that OM is well‐suited to more applied methods of teaching focusing on the application of subject knowledge to real‐life situations through a variety of techniques.

Practical implications

It is hoped that this review and the papers within this special issue act to stimulate educators to re‐evaluate their approaches to teaching OM and encourage them to consider adopting experiential teaching methods, business simulations, role‐plays, group exercises, live cases, and virtual learning environments, instead of, or in addition to, the more conventional lectures that typically dominate many OM modules around the world.

Originality/value

A special issue on teaching OM appears timely given the significant changes to both the university landscape and to the nature of the discipline that we have witnessed over the last quarter of a century.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 32 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

Nigel Slack and Henrique Correa

Examines two differing manufacturing operations and characterizestheir manufacturing planning and control (MPC) systems. The primaryconcern of this categorization analysis…

Abstract

Examines two differing manufacturing operations and characterizes their manufacturing planning and control (MPC) systems. The primary concern of this categorization analysis is to examine the similarities and differences between the flexibilities inherent in each operation′s MPC system. One company has a system which is primarily a push‐based system, the other largely a pull‐based system. Examines different categories of flexibility in terms of both range flexibility (how far the system can cope with the change) and response flexibility (how fast the system can cope with change). The major conclusion is that pull‐based systems have flexibility characteristics which are characterized by relatively clearly thought‐out discontinuities in their range response curves.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1987

Nigel Slack

Many of the new pressures from today's manufacturing environment are turning manufacturing managers' attention to the virtues of developing a flexible manufacturing…

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1895

Abstract

Many of the new pressures from today's manufacturing environment are turning manufacturing managers' attention to the virtues of developing a flexible manufacturing function. Flexibility, however, has different meanings for different managers and several perfectly legitimate alternative paths exist towards flexible manufacturing. How managers in ten companies view manufacturing flexibility in terms of how they see the contribution of manufacturing flexibility to overall company performance; what types of flexibility they regard as important; and what their desired degree of flexibility is. The results of the investigations in these ten companies are summarised in the form of ten empirical “observations”. Based on these “observations” a check‐list of prescriptions is presented and a hierarchical framework developed into which the various issues raised by the “observations” can be incorporated.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1988

Colin Armistead, Robert Johnston and Nigel Slack

An attempt is made to define productivity in the context of service operations. In so doing some of the difficulties in relating this term to service are explored. The…

Abstract

An attempt is made to define productivity in the context of service operations. In so doing some of the difficulties in relating this term to service are explored. The main part of the article takes a strategic approach and identifies three key strategic determinants of service productivity; volume, variety and variation. These terms are explained and their impact on productivity is illustrated in three short case studies.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1983

Nigel Slack

The concept of the flexibility of manufacturing systems is topical and important for three reasons. First, the instability and unpredictability of the environment, in…

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2077

Abstract

The concept of the flexibility of manufacturing systems is topical and important for three reasons. First, the instability and unpredictability of the environment, in which manufacturing companies operate, has forced many companies to reorganise their production, if only to reduce the overall scale of their operations. Second, developments such as flexible manufacturing systems and robotics, mean that flexibility is being explicitly promoted as a desirable attribute of production equipment. Third, the relatively recent interest in the nature of production management objectives has widened the scope of production aims beyond cost and productivity issues, to include the flexibility of production systems.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Nigel Slack

This short paper seeks to explain why the original paper “The flexibility of manufacturing systems” was written (1987), and attempts to examine at least some of the…

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5399

Abstract

Purpose

This short paper seeks to explain why the original paper “The flexibility of manufacturing systems” was written (1987), and attempts to examine at least some of the flexibility literature that has followed.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is a review and observations about the 1987 work.

Findings

The original paper treated flexibility in an exclusively manufacturing context. Even in the mid‐1980s one could argue that this was a mistake. If flexibility is an important concept in operations management, it should be explored in all types of operation, not just in manufacturing. Now, more than 80 per cent of economic activity and employment occurs in non‐manufacturing enterprises. Flexibility is no different from most other topics in operations in that it is unreasonably skewed towards the manufacturing sector, it would nevertheless benefit from more empirical and conceptual work in the context of service operations.

Originality/value

Provides a useful update on an author's findings from two decades ago.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Nigel Slack

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224

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Francisco J. Arenas‐Márquez, José A.D. Machuca and Carmen Medina‐López

The purpose of this paper is to describe a computer‐assisted learning experience in operations management (OM) higher education that entailed the development of…

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2155

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a computer‐assisted learning experience in operations management (OM) higher education that entailed the development of interactive learning software, its evaluation in an experimental environment and the formal analysis of the teaching method's influence on student perceptions.

Design/methodology/approach

The software design follows the constructivist focus based on widely‐accepted educational technology principles. Objective tests of knowledge and subjective appraisal of the learning process were used in the experiment to compare two educational scenarios (computer‐assisted learning and on‐site class). Students' perceptions of the software's technical and teaching features are also analyzed.

Findings

The study shows that the teaching method can significantly affect students' perceptions of the learning process. The findings also confirm the pedagogical effectiveness of the software that was designed and that information communication technologies (ICT)‐based methods are an alternative to traditional methods used in OM education.

Research limitations/implications

The experiment involved strict control over various potential threats to validity. From a statistical point‐of‐view, the conclusions can only be generalized in the population analyzed. Nevertheless, the features of the software and the student profile allow the main conclusions to be generalized to other OM environments.

Practical implications

The use and evaluation of interactive software in OM educational environments are reflected on, with emphasis on the influence that the teaching methodology has on students' attitudes to the learning process. It is of interest for researchers interested in improving teaching through the use of ICT.

Originality/value

There are very few studies on interactive self‐learning software for OM and its effects on student perceptions. This paper is a new contribution to this field.

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2001

Giovani Da Silveira and Nigel Slack

The concept of the “trade‐off” is increasingly seen as central to operations strategy because it forms the foundation of how we conceptualise the improvement process. A…

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7803

Abstract

The concept of the “trade‐off” is increasingly seen as central to operations strategy because it forms the foundation of how we conceptualise the improvement process. A case‐based methodology is employed to explore managers’ cognition regarding the idea of operations trade‐offs. Findings from the five case studies examined indicate that the idea of trade‐offs is not the problematic issue for practising managers that it is for academics, indeed it is an easily understood concept which describes the operational compromises routinely made by managers. The significance of specific trade‐offs within any operation is likely to be governed by two factors. These are, first, the degree of “importance” of the trade‐off, in terms of the impact it will have on overall operations competitiveness. The second is the “sensitivity” of the trade‐off. Sensitivity is the degree of change that will be caused to one element of the trade‐off when changes are made to the other.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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