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In the mid‐1980s, obituaries were being written for manufacturing firms in the United States. Foreign competitors, particularly those in Japan and West Germany, had…
In the mid‐1980s, obituaries were being written for manufacturing firms in the United States. Foreign competitors, particularly those in Japan and West Germany, had productivity growth exceeding that of firms in the U.S. The result was increasing market shares for firms in those countries. U.S. firms were becoming less competitive in the global marketplace.
There has been considerable discussion over the last several years concerning the size of manufacturing facilities and their productivity. Anecdotal evidence suggests that…
There has been considerable discussion over the last several years concerning the size of manufacturing facilities and their productivity. Anecdotal evidence suggests that smaller facilities are more productive than larger facilities since they tend to be more focused on a smaller set of products. The assumption is that as facilities become larger, they lose their focus by expanding their product mix and as a result, productivity suffers. Very little empirical evidence exists to support this idea.
In an attempt to bring some empirical clarity to this question, a study was conducted involving over 300 US manufacturing facilities of various sizes, as measured by number of employees. The performance level of each facility was estimated through the use of 29 performance indicators. A statistical analysis was conducted addressing the relationship between facility size and performance.
While some differences in operating characteristics between the two groups were found, only a few significant differences in performance were found. Results of this data analysis do not support the general suggestion that small facilities are more productive than larger facilities.
Since respondents spanned all manufacturing industries, there may be some differences in certain industries that are not reflected due to the cross‐industry nature of this study. Also, the responses to the items were all perceptual based on a seven‐point Likert scale. There were no objective measures included because of the incomparability between industries, particularly for performance measures.
Results of this study can provide valuable insight into the relationship between facility size and productivity.
A major decision area for manufacturing firms is the strategy that assigns specific products, processes, customers, and markets to individual facilities within…
A major decision area for manufacturing firms is the strategy that assigns specific products, processes, customers, and markets to individual facilities within multi‐facility firms. No empirical studies have been reported that identify differentiating factors in manufacturing structures or overall facility strategies. Based on responses from 305 plants, this research empirically determines the major dimensions differentiating manufacturing facility structures. Most of these support previous theories of decisions being made on differences in products, processes, materials, and customers/markets. Strategic groupings are determined and defined as “standardizers”, “customizers”, and automators”. Differences in each of these groupings are investigated for competitive priorities and performance indicators.
Executives are searching for ways to deliver consistent improvements in productivity and profitability while addressing economic realities. One initiative that has been…
Executives are searching for ways to deliver consistent improvements in productivity and profitability while addressing economic realities. One initiative that has been discovered by many organizations is the integration a quality process into their or ganization that is based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA). Many studies have been done showing that award winning companies tend to out perform peers and competitors, yet many managers are reluctant to under take the large initiative required to work toward the award. This reluctance may stem from the belief that the reported benefits are not those that are important for managers to justify the effort. The purpose of this research is to begin an exploratory study that examines the expectations of company managers, executives, and other professionals regarding the types of firm performance and returns that would be needed to justify undertaking the MBNQA process. The results showed that while financial performance of the firm is the strongest justification managers consider, and that while their expectations for improved financial performance are some what high, the financial returns are certainly not out of the realm of normal expectations for returns from other projects.
A strong, useful theoretical foundation for performance assessment and prediction relies on four components: preliminary observation of a system, identification of key or…
A strong, useful theoretical foundation for performance assessment and prediction relies on four components: preliminary observation of a system, identification of key or dominating variables in the system, synthetic and vertical thinking, and successive refinement.
Some reference books are not only useful but a pleasure to read. For anyone interested in literature, the outstanding example is the Wilson Authors Series, which, for over…
Some reference books are not only useful but a pleasure to read. For anyone interested in literature, the outstanding example is the Wilson Authors Series, which, for over fifty years, has provided excellent summaries of the lives and works of critically acclaimed or popular writers known to English‐speaking readers. Through their coverage of minor writers and inclusion of the autobiographical statements of many twentieth‐century writers, these volumes have constituted a valuable record of the literary scene. Despite the proliferation of literary reference works in recent years, some covering more authors, others providing lengthier articles, the Wilson series has remained a cornerstone of the reference collections of libraries of all sizes and a model of concise biographical writing.
In the decade since Tillery, Rutledge and Inman reviewed the treatment of quality management in leading US production and operations management (P/OM) textbooks, attention…
In the decade since Tillery, Rutledge and Inman reviewed the treatment of quality management in leading US production and operations management (P/OM) textbooks, attention to quality, once the watchword and driving force in world business, has faded in both the practitioner and popular press. The ultimate purpose of the present research was to establish the progress, current status, and relevancy of the treatment of quality in current US P/OM textbooks, which remain the principal source of quality information in the undergraduate P/OM core course, preparing most future US managers as well as many international managers of tomorrow. Results of the present study indicate that over the last decade US P/OM textbooks have begun to reflect a more proactive and less reactive approach to quality management. However, results also indicate that current US P/OM textbooks lack relevancy of their quality content to practitioner needs, treat TQM and other holistic approaches to quality management superficially, and have little consistency concerning quality emphases.
Stephen Hodgetts read the e-mail over and over again and still could hardly believe what he had read. He had just come back from his vacation, well rested and refreshed…
Stephen Hodgetts read the e-mail over and over again and still could hardly believe what he had read. He had just come back from his vacation, well rested and refreshed, and this e-mail had dampened his high enthusiasm. It took time to absorb such bad news and for Hodgetts to get over his incredulity.Yet in the end Hodgetts accepted the truth‐a deep, dark terrible truth that would not go away. Robert Davis, his business partner’s son, had confirmed in an e-mail his worst fears about their newest business partner, David Russ.Many thoughts were running through his mind simultaneously yet each screamed to be heard.“How could he and his partner Richard Davis have been so blind, so trusting?” “How could Russ not have heeded the advice of his business partner, Richard Davis, Russ’s former English professor?” And most important, “What was now going to happen to their new business?” Yet the one thought that continued to echo among them all was surprisingly a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved character, Sherlock Holmes: “But there are always some lunatics about. It would be a dull world without them.”
The purpose of this paper is to further fill the void of American slavery within management history and leadership studies by presenting the unique case of Joseph E. Davis…
The purpose of this paper is to further fill the void of American slavery within management history and leadership studies by presenting the unique case of Joseph E. Davis's paternalistic leadership.
This case was selected because of Davis's attempt to transplant Robert Owen's utopian practices of social harmony in an industrial, textile‐mill setting to the backdrop of his slavery plantation. The method used is the historical method of analyzing both primary and secondary sources of data about Joseph E. Davis, a Mississippi planter, during the time periods of antebellum and reconstruction.
This analysis indicates that Joseph E. Davis exhibited benevolence, authoritarianism, and, to a degree, moral paternalistic leadership with his slaves. Yet, due to his ideology and the context, he still defended slavery and Southern rights.
Historical knowledge about paternalistic leadership during the antebellum slavery and reconstruction time period will help to end the denial of slavery in management studies, as well as contribute to the understanding of paternalism in many contemporary cultures.
This is the first article to provide primary evidence of paternalistic leadership in management history studies within this erroneously disregarded period.
National parks are selected as places of national importance, with national meaning. At the same time, the political process that shapes park management is often a local…
National parks are selected as places of national importance, with national meaning. At the same time, the political process that shapes park management is often a local one. This biases park interpretation away from national concerns and toward local ones. The National Park Service's corporate interests and decision-making processes often reinforce the role of local interests except in the rare cases of congressional intervention. A close look at the political environment of Fort Davis National Historic Site, Texas, illustrates these points. Congress mandated the site to interpret westward expansion and its impact on American Indians. It became instead a program of park interpretation based on westward expansion and the role of African-American “Buffalo Soldiers” within it. As a result, Indians have effectively been written out of the story of this “Indian fort.” Interestingly, Native American issues reappear in commercial establishments, both the gift shop in the park and businesses in the town of Fort Davis outside the park. If businesses perceive a demand for information about Native Americans among tourists, presumably there is a similar, unmet demand among the same tourists as they visit the historic site. Given the role of local concerns in park interpretation, national intervention will probably be necessary to provide political support for reinterpreting the site.