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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Amanda Haynes

Concerns the effects of world class manufacturing on the quality of working life of shop floor workers. Theoretically, it is grounded in the conflict between two opposing…

Abstract

Concerns the effects of world class manufacturing on the quality of working life of shop floor workers. Theoretically, it is grounded in the conflict between two opposing paradigms – the flexible specialisation thesis and labour process theory. Methodologically, it is based on qualitative data gathered in 1996 during in‐depth interviews with employees of a West of Ireland factory established in the use of world class manufacturing methods (fieldwork for a Masters degree minor dissertation). The results of the research indicate that the majority of world class manufacturing methods increase the intensity of work, without yielding proportionate compensation for workers. Based on these findings, the interpretation of world class manufacturing supported by labour process theory was found to be far more accurate a rendering than that promoted by the flexible specialisation thesis.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1993

K.C. Chan

The ideas expressed in this work are based on those put intopractice at the Okuma Corporation of Japan, one of the world′s leadingmachine tool manufacturers. In common…

Abstract

The ideas expressed in this work are based on those put into practice at the Okuma Corporation of Japan, one of the world′s leading machine tool manufacturers. In common with many other large organizations, Okuma Corporation has to meet the new challenges posed by globalization, keener domestic and international competition, shorter business cycles and an increasingly volatile environment. Intelligent corporate strategy (ICS), as practised at Okuma, is a unified theory of strategic corporate management based on five levels of win‐win relationships for profit/market share, namely: ,1. Loyalty from customers (value for money) – right focus., 2. Commitment from workers (meeting hierarchy of needs) – right attitude., 3. Co‐operation from suppliers (expanding and reliable business) – right connections., 4. Co‐operation from distributors (expanding and reliable business) – right channels., 5. Respect from competitors (setting standards for business excellence) – right strategies. The aim is to create values for all stakeholders. This holistic people‐oriented approach recognizes that, although the world is increasingly driven by high technology, it continues to be influenced and managed by people (customers, workers, suppliers, distributors, competitors). The philosophical core of ICS is action learning and teamwork based on principle‐centred relationships of sincerity, trust and integrity. In the real world, these are the roots of success in relationships and in the bottom‐line results of business. ICS is, in essence, relationship management for synergy. It is based on the premiss that domestic and international commerce is a positive sum game: in the long run everyone wins. Finally, ICS is a paradigm for manufacturing companies coping with change and uncertainty in their search for profit/market share. Time‐honoured values give definition to corporate character; circumstances change, values remain. Poor business operations generally result from human frailty. ICS is predicated on the belief that the quality of human relationships determines the bottom‐line results. ICS attempts to make manifest and explicit the intangible psychological factors for value‐added partnerships. ICS is a dynamic, living, and heuristic‐learning model. There is intelligence in the corporate strategy because it applies commonsense, wisdom, creative systems thinking and synergy to ensure longevity in its corporate life for sustainable competitive advantage.

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Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 93 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2007

Steve Brown, Brian Squire and Kate Blackmon

The purpose of this paper is to explore links between the process of strategy formulation and subsequent performance in operations within firms.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore links between the process of strategy formulation and subsequent performance in operations within firms.

Design/methodology/approach

An in‐depth literature review on resource‐based and operations strategy naturally led to three hypotheses. These are then tested using evidence from field‐based case studies of manufacturing/assembly plants in the computer industry.

Findings

The research suggests that world‐class plants incorporate both strategic operations content and strategic operations processes, whilst low‐performing plants do not.

Practical implications

It is argued that involving manufacturing/operations managers in the strategic planning process helps align manufacturing and business strategy, and this alignment is associated with higher manufacturing performance. This should be of interest to operations managers and strategists within firms.

Originality/value

By linking strategic alignment and the manufacturing strategy process to world‐class manufacturing practices and performance, this research adds a new dimension to the study of world‐class manufacturing and more generally to the best practices and practice‐performance debates.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

H. Yamashina

Deals with the basic requirements for world‐class manufacturing and discusses the role of total productive maintenance (TPM) in helping to achieve world‐class manufacturing

Abstract

Deals with the basic requirements for world‐class manufacturing and discusses the role of total productive maintenance (TPM) in helping to achieve world‐class manufacturing. Examines the roles of TPM in TQM and JIT. Finally, impacts of TPM on the culture and structure of the organization are discussed and pitfalls of TPM implementation are dealt with. Provides an in‐depth look at the development of Japanese manufacturing strategy and concludes with the view that the first step to world‐class manufacturing is to implement TPM successfully and to create an active organization.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1993

Laszlo Eszes and Alan Muhlemann

Presents a historical overview of the political and economicchanges in Hungary. Emphasizes the implications forproduction/manufacturing management and corporate strategy…

Abstract

Presents a historical overview of the political and economic changes in Hungary. Emphasizes the implications for production/manufacturing management and corporate strategy. Discusses the current situation in Hungarian manufacturing industry and identifies the more strategic issues within the economic environment. Examines current production management practice, with case histories, and concludes with an assessment of the possibilities of introducing aspects of world‐class manufacturing into Hungarian industry.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 93 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1996

Chris Voss and Kate Blackmon

Presents the results of a study examining differences in world‐class manufacturing practices and performance between the UK and Germany, based on a sample of more than 500…

Abstract

Presents the results of a study examining differences in world‐class manufacturing practices and performance between the UK and Germany, based on a sample of more than 500 German and British manufacturing plants. Suggests that although German superiority persists in many areas, it may not be as great as generally assumed. While at the overall level, country‐of‐origin effects are important, many of the plant sites sampled were part of multinational organizations. Also examines how much of the difference in manufacturing practices and performance at the site level might be attributed to foreign direct investment in manufacturing. Concludes that parent origin does have a significant effect at the site level.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 16 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

Colin New

There has been considerable (sometime acrimonious) debate about theissue of the continuous‐improvement protagonists′ view and the(old‐fashioned) manufacturing strategy…

Abstract

There has been considerable (sometime acrimonious) debate about the issue of the continuous‐improvement protagonists′ view and the (old‐fashioned) manufacturing strategy view of the nature and extent of “trade‐offs” between manufacturing performance characteristics. Seeks to explore the argument from both sides, starting from the necessity for major transformations in the performance of manufacturing systems over the next few years (the “challenge of transformation”). Explores the characteristics of “World‐class Manufacturing” and examines the relevance of trade‐offs in detail through case‐study illustrations. Develops a balanced view which argues that, while certain trade‐offs have been rendered irrelevant by market pressures and expectations, others have not and remain the key to the choice of technology, process and organization within the manufacturing mix.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2008

Monica Sharma and Rambabu Kodali

Manufacturing excellence means to be the best in the field at each competitive priority and to demonstrate industry best practices. Over the years there have been many

Abstract

Purpose

Manufacturing excellence means to be the best in the field at each competitive priority and to demonstrate industry best practices. Over the years there have been many pioneering efforts in the direction of the assessment and implementation of manufacturing excellence through various frameworks, but none of the existing frameworks was found to be suitable for the Indian scenario, and the completeness of existing Indian manufacturing excellence frameworks was also found to be lacking. Hence this paper aims to focus on the development of a new framework for providing direction and guidance to an organization in achieving manufacturing excellence in Indian industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was carried out to provide a brief overview about the 23 frameworks of manufacturing excellence/world‐class manufacturing as proposed by various researchers, consultants, international agencies and individuals. An attempt is made to propose a new framework for manufacturing excellence using the comparative analysis of the existing frameworks along with the domain knowledge of the concept of manufacturing excellence and through discussion with experts.

Findings

The outcome of this research is a framework of manufacturing excellence.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework for manufacturing excellence needs to be validated through an empirical approach or by a clinical approach utilizing a case study.

Originality/value

Through comparative analysis, some unique elements/attributes were identified which represent the pillars of manufacturing excellence and through domain knowledge some more elements/attributes have been added. Sub‐attributes/sub‐elements for various pillars have also been identified.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

Alan Harrison

The concept of world class manufacturing is examined in terms of the definitions which have been developed in recent survey based research. A fundamental flaw in such…

Abstract

The concept of world class manufacturing is examined in terms of the definitions which have been developed in recent survey based research. A fundamental flaw in such approaches is that they model a fixed notion of manufacturing competitiveness. The paper presents results from case based research which addresses these issues, and shows how, even in relatively compatible environments, forcing different operations facilities to become similar would potentially undermine competitiveness. The unit of analysis is the manufacturing cell, and evidence is provided which describes the relative postions of the four cells studied. The study concludes that the cells have distinct strategic needs, and that a single “lean” mindset would be inappropriate.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Salaheldin Ismail Salaheldin and Riyad Eid

The purposes of this paper are to illustrate how the world class manufacturing (WCM) techniques which could be described as outperforming the industry's global best…

Abstract

Purpose

The purposes of this paper are to illustrate how the world class manufacturing (WCM) techniques which could be described as outperforming the industry's global best practices have been implemented in the Egyptian manufacturing firms, to identify the critical driving and resisting forces toward WCM techniques implementation in Egyptian manufacturing firms, and to provide guidelines for the successful implementation of WCM by Egyptian manufacturers.

Design/methodology/approach

The data analyzed in this study are collected from a mail questionnaire sent to 200 manufacturing firms in Egypt.

Findings

The findings of this study indicate that the Egyptian manufacturers are still in the 1970s and 1980s, when compared with world‐class manufacturers. The most important variables that promote the implementation of WCM techniques are “reduced operating costs (marketing and production)” and “global issues (environment‐market).” More importantly, the results of this study indicate that poor planning and lack of knowledge are the most significant barriers to WCM implementation in the Egyptian manufacturing sector.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need to empirically explore the benefits of WCM implementation by the Egyptian manufacturing companies. Furthermore, more research is needed to study how the perceived importance of these drivers and barriers may differ across each industry such as manufacturing equipment, chemical and plastics, telecommunications, hardware equipment, textile industry, home equipment, scientific and medical equipment, management consulting, and software development.

Practical implications

This study hopes to create more awareness among management and employees about the strategic importance of WCM techniques to operations processes in the Egyptian manufacturing firms.

Originality/value

Although the last few years have witnessed phenomenal growth in WCM techniques, the underlying factors driving and inhibiting its diffusion are not well understood specially in the context of less developed countries in general and Egypt in particular. Therefore, this paper presents an empirical research that investigated the factors driving and inhibiting WCM implementation in Egypt and it provides insight into the strategies currently being adopted by Egyptian manufacturers in an effort to meet the challenge of obtaining WCM status.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 107 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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