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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Virpi Turkulainen, Katri Kauppi and Emma Nermes

While classical operations strategy research argues that manufacturing organizations should be managed in line with the operational strategic priorities, recent studies…

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1065

Abstract

Purpose

While classical operations strategy research argues that manufacturing organizations should be managed in line with the operational strategic priorities, recent studies have brought up potential institutional explanations for adoption of various managerial practices, including supply chain management practices. The key point in the institutional argument is that organizations are especially affected by other organizations; imitation and isomorphism are a critical part of organizational behavior. The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the institutional argument in explaining the use of supplier integration mechanisms – one of the focal management practices in today’s organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors assess empirically the extent to which various economic institutional factors explain the use of supplier integration mechanisms in manufacturing plants with a multi-country and multi-industry survey sample.

Findings

The results indicate that institutional explanations play a significant role in explaining supplier integration. The findings suggest that further emphasis on building research around the institutional argument in various areas of supply chain and operations management is important.

Originality/value

As research on supply chain integration – including supplier integration – has focused on its performance implications, more research on the antecedents to integration is needed. This study provides a test of institutional theory as an antecedent to supplier integration.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2019

Harvey Maylor and Virpi Turkulainen

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the past 25 years of the research on projectification, focusing especially on organisational aspects of projectification, as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the past 25 years of the research on projectification, focusing especially on organisational aspects of projectification, as well as to discuss recent developments and potential future research directions.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a discussion paper, which draws on previously published research and data.

Findings

The first section identifies contexts in which projectification has taken place (projectification of) and the organisational process by which this has taken place (projectification through). Using an illustrative example based on publicly available data, the second section shows an extension of the organisational phenomenon, referred to as advanced organisational projectification. The paper concludes with a synthesised framework of organisational projectification.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides a personal reflection and commentary and is focused on the conceptualisation of the term rather than an all-encompassing study of projectification. Based on the discussion, the paper presents a synthesised view of organisational projectification as well as directions for future research to advance the understanding of projectification.

Practical implications

The study has implications for policy-makers in the design of the process of ongoing projectification and provides illustrations and a warning concerning the assumptions that are made as an organisation advances in its projectification.

Originality/value

This paper provides an elaboration of one of the focal concepts of project studies, extending some of the key elements of project management research.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Karlos Artto and Virpi Turkulainen

The purpose of this paper is to develop further understanding of the interdependence between product and organization subsystems in the context of major projects by…

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4090

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop further understanding of the interdependence between product and organization subsystems in the context of major projects by empirically elaborating the volume-variety matrix.

Design/methodology/approach

Projects are perceived as systems that include a product subsystem (the project outcome) and an organization subsystem (the temporary multi-firm organizational network that produces the project outcome). This study addresses product-organization interdependence by analyzing product and organization subsystem components in terms of their uniqueness and reuse across multiple projects. The empirical analysis focuses on four global renewable fuels refinery projects implemented by Neste from 2003 to 2011. The refineries are based on the same proprietary technology but are unique at the project level.

Findings

The findings indicate interesting interdependencies between product and organization subsystems when analyzed at the component level: the findings suggest both diagonal and off-diagonal positions in the volume-variety matrix. An example of an off-diagonal position is a reused organization subsystem component associated with a unique product subsystem component, meaning that choosing the same organization in a future project can be used for acquiring an improved and, thereby, unique product subsystem component.

Originality/value

The study elaborates upon the volume-variety matrix in the context of major projects. The findings related to off-diagonal positions in the matrix provide new knowledge on combinations at the component level where a reused organization can be associated with a unique product, and vice versa. This has direct implications for management of projects.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 May 2018

Kirsi Aaltonen and Virpi Turkulainen

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the understanding of socialization in the context of temporary operations and organizational settings, using project alliance …

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1948

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the understanding of socialization in the context of temporary operations and organizational settings, using project alliance – the most contemporary approach to the management of large and complex projects – as an example. In particular, the paper also assesses how informal and formal socialization mechanisms are used to facilitate relational capital in such a setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by two case studies of complex infrastructure projects in a Northern European city. The analysis focuses on how socialization is managed across organizational interfaces within the alliance organization during the project tendering and development phase to create relational capital.

Findings

The findings indicate that significant emphasis is put on socialization in project alliances. However, while in the tendering phase both informal and formal socialization mechanisms are used to create relational capital; in the development phase informal socialization mechanisms are associated with higher levels of relational capital and formal socialization mechanisms are used to maintain the level of relational capital.

Originality/value

While operations and supply chain management research argues that socialization is critical to manage organizational interfaces and to create relational capital in buyer-supplier relationships, research has mainly focused on ongoing operations. This study complements the prior research by developing further insight into socialization in the context of temporary operations and organizational settings; such settings create a unique empirical context, posing different managerial challenges as the results also indicate.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Joseph Roh, Virpi Turkulainen, Judith M. Whipple and Morgan Swink

Managing internal supply chains is becoming increasingly complex, requiring managers to balance diverse needs. As a result, managers continuously face the need to change…

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1973

Abstract

Purpose

Managing internal supply chains is becoming increasingly complex, requiring managers to balance diverse needs. As a result, managers continuously face the need to change how they organize their internal supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to examine this phenomenon by addressing why multinational supply chain management organizations (SCMOs) change their designs, as well as how managers respond to pertinent change phenomena using complementary theoretical perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data, collected from 50 executives within 24 multinational manufacturers, is used to develop an understanding of the organizational design change phenomena. A theory elaboration approach is taken to illustrate how various theoretical perspectives explain organizational design change.

Findings

This study identifies and elaborates organizational design change phenomena in the context of multinational SCMOs, including internal and external drivers of design change. Managers also discussed key supply chain management capabilities that were developed in order to meet perceived changes in business needs.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to academic understanding of organizational design issues affecting SCMOs. Four theoretical perspectives are elaborated upon to illustrate their applicability for examining SCMO organizational design issues.

Practical implications

This study provides managerial application of several organizational design change theories by elaborating principles for framing, interpreting, and implementing design change initiatives in internal SCMOs.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to investigate organizational design change in multinational SCMOs. This research highlights the complexity and evolving nature of SCMO organizational design decisions by describing the adaption, integration, and reconfiguration of firm resources and competencies in changing environments.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Virpi Turkulainen and Mikko Ketokivi

Conventional wisdom has it that cross‐functional integration is a “must”. The purpose of this paper is to take an information‐processing approach to integration and…

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5456

Abstract

Purpose

Conventional wisdom has it that cross‐functional integration is a “must”. The purpose of this paper is to take an information‐processing approach to integration and elaborate the conventional wisdom by theoretical examination of both the concept of integration as well as theoretical and empirical elaboration of its link to operational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop six propositions on how cross‐functional integration affects performance and test the propositions in an international sample of 266 manufacturing plant organizations in nine countries.

Findings

The results strongly suggest that disaggregation of performance is important, because the effects of cross‐functional integration on performance are contingent: even though the effects of achieved integration on several dimensions of operational performance are positive, the performance effect varies from one dimension to the next. This is an important finding given that performance has typically been treated at an aggregate level in prior research on the performance effects of integration.

Originality/value

Although most research on integration has focused on the performance implications in particular, theoretical work on the nature of the integration‐performance relationship is required. In this paper, the authors argue the benefits of cross‐functional integration to be fundamentally context‐dependent and elaborate the link between integration and performance by developing the definition of the concept of integration further, as well as by disaggregation of performance, to its constituent dimensions.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 October 2019

Yvonne Schoper and Helgi Thor Ingason

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1067

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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