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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

Jose Dinis-Carvalho, Levi Guimaraes, Rui M. Sousa and Celina Pinto Leao

The purpose of this paper is to compare the well-known value stream mapping (VSM) with a recent tool named waste identification diagram (WID), regarding the capacity of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the well-known value stream mapping (VSM) with a recent tool named waste identification diagram (WID), regarding the capacity of information representation and easiness of interpretation.

Design/methodology/approach

The work begins with a brief literature review comparing the main tools for representation of production units, with special emphasis on VSM and WID, in terms of ability to identify several types of waste. Then, the authors developed the VSM and the WID of a specific production unit and after that several groups composed by students of Industrial Engineering (IE) and/or professionals from industry were asked to analyse/interpret only one of these diagrams. Finally, a questionnaire with closed and open questions was applied to the groups to evaluate the analysed tool.

Findings

In general, the results revealed that WID is more effective than VSM and participants recognized that most of the WID elements are relevant. Specifically, a measure coined overall effectiveness was applied (based on the response time and percentage of correct interpretations), indicating a clear advantage of WID (22 per cent of correct interpretations per minute) compared to VSM (9 per cent of correct interpretations per minute). The main drawback pointed to the WID is the lack of representation of the information flow.

Originality/value

This work contributes to the IE field by revealing WID as a new promising graphical tool for representation of production units, especially in terms of identification/quantification of wastes. The tool was quantitative and qualitatively evaluated by persons both from academia and industry.

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

Anabela C. Alves, José Dinis‐Carvalho and Rui M. Sousa

This paper aims to explore the lean production paradigm as promoter of workers' creativity and thinking potential, and recognize this human potential as a fundamental…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the lean production paradigm as promoter of workers' creativity and thinking potential, and recognize this human potential as a fundamental asset for companies' growth and success, being a major factor to face the disturbing and unpredictable needs of current markets, providing companies with the necessary agility. The authors believe these thinkers are the base for an agile company and learning organization.

Design/methodology/approach

The objectives were achieved through a deep literature review, starting with the Toyota production system (TPS) origins. Some industrial lean case studies were also explored to show that the adoption of a lean culture promotes a pro‐active attitude and behavior that are so important for companies nowadays.

Findings

This paper explores the association between lean production and the promotion of thinkers. For a long period, and even nowadays, it is common to consider the worker as just another production factor that the companies explore to obtain the maximum utilization. This was a result from the distorted knowledge of the Taylor principles and the Ford assembly line model, seeing the worker as a gear in the “big machine”. Lean production was seen, for many years and by many authors, as an extension of this Taylorist/Fordist model but this paper highlights lean production as a work organization model where the worker assumes a position of thinker, continuously looking for improvement and continuously looking for wastes. By reducing wastes, the company will be prepared to accommodate changes and will attain agility.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is mainly based on literature review and on some industrial case studies of lean implementations (recent or just a few years ago); a deep research is necessary on the cause‐effect relation between lean production adoption and promotion of thinkers.

Practical implications

Helping companies to recognize the importance of workers as thinkers will have relevant impacts through the reduction of waste and costs, improving quality and increase productivity and revenue. Also, for workers, this recognition means respect, self‐esteem and confidence, and, essentially, more satisfaction with work.

Social implications

With lean production and agility, better products will quickly reach society, contributing thus to clients' satisfaction. Also, lean companies' CEO and workers looking for wastes will lead to a reduction of energy consumption, raw materials needs and gas emissions (reducing pollution of air, land and water), producing only what is needed. Being satisfied with their work they will be happier contributing to the raising of the country's happiness.

Originality/value

The authors are not aware of similar research. The paper is meant for those who are interested in improving their companies' operations and workers' relationships.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

Goran D. Putnik

This editorial aims to introduce the theme of the special issue: “Lean vs agile from an organizational sustainability, complexity and learning perspective”.

Abstract

Purpose

This editorial aims to introduce the theme of the special issue: “Lean vs agile from an organizational sustainability, complexity and learning perspective”.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology of the editorial is that of a survey. In the first part it presents the relevance of the theme and in the second part it presents the papers included in the special issue, including their themes, findings and novel contributions.

Findings

The individual findings by the papers present significant new contributions in a deeper insight of the “lean” and “agile” philosophies, or approaches in, and to, organizations. It could be noticed that the controversies of the issue “lean vs. agile” still remain. However, it could be said that an eventual further investigation in the phenomenology of “lean” and “agile” will be more informed after consideration of the results presented in this special issue.

Research limitations/implications

Further investigation should be undertaken on a more abstract “level” of the theories of “lean” and “agile” and their mutual relationship, such as theories about the internal processes of “lean”/“agile” users, general “lean”/“agile” theories, epistemology of “lean”/“agile”, and ontology of “lean”/“agile”, and relationship with learning organization and chaordic organization.

Practical implications

Readers, both theoreticians and practitioners, will find in this editorial a “guide” to the issues of their interest concerning the valuable explanations, ideas and tools, presented in the special issue, for both concrete applications in enterprises and organizations, and for further research and development of learning, complex and sustainable organizations, and towards new ideas and insights generation.

Originality/value

This editorial presents an analysis of the special issue on “lean vs agile”, contributing to the higher levels of the theories of “lean” and “agile” and their mutual relationship, namely to the theories about the internal processes of “lean”/“agile” users, general “lean”/“agile” theories, and epistemology of “lean”/“agile”.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Antônio Márcio Tavares Thomé and Rui Sousa

The purpose of this paper is to propose that the effectiveness of organizational design-manufacturing integration (ODMI) practices is contingent upon the degree of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose that the effectiveness of organizational design-manufacturing integration (ODMI) practices is contingent upon the degree of complexity of the manufacturing environment. The paper submits that the level of use of ODMI ought to match the level of complexity of the manufacturing environment. The paper puts forward the hypothesis that when a misfit occurs between ODMI and complexity (high use of ODMI practices in low complexity environments or low use of ODMI practices in high complexity environments) manufacturing operational performance declines.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper tests the hypothesis based on a survey database of 725 manufacturers from 21 countries. The measurement model was assessed with confirmatory factor analysis and the hypothesis was tested with linear regression.

Findings

A misfit between the level of ODMI use (job rotation and co-location) and manufacturing complexity (product and process complexity) has a negative effect on manufacturing operational performance dimensions of quality, delivery and flexibility. Post hoc analyses also suggest that firms that operate in different environments in what concerns the rate of change in process technologies suffer differentiated negative impacts of ODMI-complexity misfit.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies could extend this research to other dimensions of design-manufacturing integration, such as technological practices.

Practical implications

Manufacturers with high levels of complexity should invest strongly in ODMI practices. However, manufacturers with low levels of complexity should invest in these practices with caution since the expected payoffs may not outweigh the effort.

Originality/value

The study assesses fit as a simultaneous set of contingency factors, applying profile-deviation analysis to ODMI and operational performance relationships. By focusing on plant-level manufacturing complexity, this study complements existing studies of product development complexity which tend to focus on project-level complexity.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2020

Rui Sousa and Giovani J.C. da Silveira

This study theoretically articulates and empirically validates a model of relationships between market complexity (competition intensity, heterogeneity and technological…

Abstract

Purpose

This study theoretically articulates and empirically validates a model of relationships between market complexity (competition intensity, heterogeneity and technological change), strategic focus on product and service differentiation, ADS offerings and differentiation advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop and test hypotheses through structural equation modeling based on data from the Sixth International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS-VI), involving 931 manufacturers from 22 countries.

Findings

The results indicate that (1) market complexity has a positive impact on strategic focus on product and service differentiation; (2) focus on product and service differentiation, but not market complexity, has a positive impact on the extent to which business units offer ADS to their customers; (3) ADS have a positive impact on service differentiation advantage, but no influence on product differentiation advantage.

Practical implications

Managers should incorporate decisions related to ADS provision as part of their manufacturing strategy formulation processes to align markets, strategic focus on product and service differentiation, and ADS provision. ADS seem an appropriate lever for market differentiation, because they appear not only to support service differentiation advantage, but also to be consistent with strategic focus on product differentiation.

Originality/value

The study provides novel insights and large-scale empirical evidence on the influence of the market environment on the offering of ADS, as well as on how relationships between the product and service activity in the manufacturing organization may affect differentiation advantage.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2018

Federico Caniato, Des Doran, Rui Sousa and Harry Boer

The purpose of this paper is to identify similarities and differences between qualitative-based and quantitative-based research, and to present recommendations for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify similarities and differences between qualitative-based and quantitative-based research, and to present recommendations for designing and conducting the research so that the possibilities of publishing it in leading Operations Management (OM) journals are improved.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes its outset in contributions made at the 2016 European Operations Management Association Young Scholars Workshop. The theme of the workshop was “Designing and developing research projects in Operations Management – from concept to publication.” Taking the perspectives of the case researcher, the survey researcher and the editor/reviewer, the authors present and discuss the views on and experiences with designing research for publication.

Findings

The authors identify a number of recommendations that researchers should use when designing, conducting, and presenting their research for publication. The recommendations include the need to clearly and concisely establish relevance, account for choice of methodology as well as the operationalization, sampling, analytical, and validation methods used, and demonstrate the contribution of the paper in the discussion section. Furthermore, the authors draw attention to the importance of developing a publication strategy as early as possible. Other important aspects include the title of the paper, keywords selection, and rejection criteria. Finally, the authors stress the importance of “total quality management” in designing and executing OM research.

Originality/value

Going beyond the standard author guidelines found at journal web sites, the authors present a collection of viewpoints, which are based on the authors’ experiences as reviewers, editors, and evaluators of OM research projects and their designs.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2018

Rui Sousa and Marlene Amorim

Multichannel (MC) service providers have been adopting a wide diversity of front-office service delivery models, i.e. different ways of employing channels to support the…

Abstract

Purpose

Multichannel (MC) service providers have been adopting a wide diversity of front-office service delivery models, i.e. different ways of employing channels to support the delivery of the service activities that involve customer interaction. Despite this, we are still faced with a paucity of concepts to understand the myriad of possible choices. The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical framework and basic design architectures to provide a structured understanding of the diversity of operational design choices for MC front-office service delivery models, their efficacy implications, and how they fit with the provider’s service strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs the analytical conceptual approach. The authors logically develop the architectures based on the operations management theory and provide corresponding empirical illustrations based on secondary sources, direct observation, and case studies.

Findings

The authors propose two theoretically meaningful dimensions to characterize and distinguish between delivery models (channel redundancy and channel span) and put forward four anchor architectures for such models: generalist, parallel, constricted, and centralized. The authors identify the operational efficacy implications (effectiveness and efficiency) of the different architectures, and develop a set of propositions and design principles for selecting appropriate architectures.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should develop empirical measures for the dimensions underlying the architectures.

Originality/value

The study extends existing service process classifications by capturing the MC traits of front-office processes. The authors offer design principles to assist firms in selecting architectures that are aligned with their service strategy. The framework and architectures provide seminal concepts to support a wealth of future empirical studies.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Rui Sousa and Giovani J.C. da Silveira

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between product customization and servitization strategies, specifically the relationship between product…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between product customization and servitization strategies, specifically the relationship between product customization strategy intensity and degree of servitization (offering of basic and/or advanced services) and the moderating role of product customization strategy alignment on that relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop and test hypotheses through partial least squares path modeling to analyze data from the Sixth International Manufacturing Strategy Survey, involving 931 manufacturers in 22 countries.

Findings

The results indicate that customization strategy intensity is positively associated with the offering of basic and advanced services; these relationships are not moderated by customization strategy alignment.

Practical implications

Manufacturers pursuing product customization strategies may be especially well positioned to servitize, even those with misalignment in strategic choices. Paradoxically, while manufacturers of standard products might look at servitization as an attractive strategy to differentiate their value proposition, they appear to be less servitized than manufacturers pursuing product customization.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to examine how manufacturing strategy choices (intensity and alignment) influence the adoption of servitization strategies. The study introduces manufacturing strategy as a contingency factor that influences the adoption of servitization, answering calls for the study of servitization contingencies.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2018

Rui Manuel de Sousa Fragoso and Carlos José de Almeida Noéme

This paper aims to assess the economic effects of climate change on the Mediterranean’s irrigated agriculture and how the adoption of alternative crop varieties adapted to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the economic effects of climate change on the Mediterranean’s irrigated agriculture and how the adoption of alternative crop varieties adapted to the expected length of the growing season can be an effective adaptation measure.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study of two irrigation areas in Southern Portugal is used to assess the response to climate change impacts on crop yields and irrigation requirements, and an agricultural supply model is calibrated using a positive mathematical programming (PMP) approach was developed.

Findings

Climate change reduces crop yields and causes a slight decrease in irrigation requirements, which could allow an increase in the irrigated area. However, positive impacts on rural areas regarding employment and investment are not expected. The adoption of adaptation measures based on alternative crop varieties, which could maintain crop yields at current levels, increases dramatically the economic value of water and mitigates losses in farm income.

Research limitations/implications

The impacts on output and input market prices, as well as other biophysical impacts (for instance, CO2 and water availability), are important in understanding the effects of climate change on irrigated agriculture, but they were not considered in this study. While this may be a limitation, it can also be a stimulus for further research.

Practical implications

This is an empirical paper, whose results contribute to improving knowledge about the effects of climate change on irrigated agriculture in Mediterranean areas, namely, its economic impacts on returns and the use of agricultural resources (land, water, labour and capital). Other practical implications of the paper are associated with the methodological approach, which provides a framework able to deal with the complexity and multidimensional effects of climate change.

Social implications

The results of the paper provide important information for scientists, politicians and other stakeholders about the design of more effective adaptation measures able to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Originality/value

Crop yields and irrigation requirements were previously calculated based on data generated by the regional climate models. This is the first time that an application is developed for Portugal. Two distinct profiles of irrigation areas were studied and a large set of crops was considered, which is not common in the existing studies. To specify the PMP approach used to calibrate the agricultural supply model, exogenous crop-specific supply elasticities were estimated through a least square model, which is not common in previous studies.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Rui Sousa and Giovani J.C. da Silveira

The purpose of this paper is to theoretically articulate and empirically test an integrated model of capability antecedents and performance outcomes of servitization…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to theoretically articulate and empirically test an integrated model of capability antecedents and performance outcomes of servitization strategies. The authors characterize servitization strategies based on the offering of two types of services: basic services (BAS) and advanced services (ADS).

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses are tested based on statistical analyses of a large survey of manufacturers from different countries and sectors.

Findings

The authors find that manufacturing capabilities associate with the provision of BAS, while service capabilities associate with both BAS and ADS; BAS do not impact financial performance, but support the offering of ADS; there seem to be naturally occurring servitization trajectories involving the gradual development of balanced levels of BAS and ADS and adequate levels of manufacturing and service capabilities.

Research limitations/implications

The findings on servitization trajectories are based on the observation of manufacturing business units at different stages of servitization (cross-sectional data).

Practical implications

Manufacturers wishing to servitize should distinguish between BAS and ADS and deploy a balanced adoption of BAS and ADS, using BAS as a platform. This should be accompanied with the building of appropriate capabilities.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to show an explicit link between different servitization strategies, capabilities, and servitization maturity. It provides new insights into the servitization paradox and servitization trajectories.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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