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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|10713||2005||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||4675 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Volume 25, Issue 8, August 2005, Pages 857–863
Over the past decade there have been a large number of significant innovations in manufacturing which have resulted in more flexible and cost efficient methods and higher quality products, as manufacturers have set about upgrading their processes, systems and performance. This study compares the use of technologies and improvement programs between OECD and Non-OECD countries, and also between small and large firms, and examines differences in the use and outcomes across the economies and different sized firms. The empirical analysis provides an opportunity to test whether the ‘capabilities’ or strengths of a firm can be linked to these activities and examines if developing economies are using technology or management programs such as quality management and business process re-engineering to catch up to manufacturers in developed economies. The analysis utilises data from the second International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS), which encompasses 703 firms in 23 countries.
Ferdows and de Meyer (1990) argue that lasting improvements in manufacturing need to be grounded on a hierarchy of performance in quality, reliability, flexibility and technological leadership. A fifth capability, speed of response, or time, has been added to the first four capabilities by more recent work (e.g. Bartezzaghi et al., 1994). These five capabilities describe a set of criteria for satisfying the market requirements of the manufacturing function. These capabilities should be used by managers to evaluate alternatives and as a means of identifying gaps in the capacity of the manufacturing function to satisfy market requirements (Slack, 1998). The manufacturing sector must ensure that it can compete in areas other than price, if it is to maintain its current importance to a nation's economy. Manufacturing enterprises in both developed and developing economies need to improve their systems, processes and performance. Decisions regarding improvement to a firm's manufacturing procedures should be made within a strategic framework, with an emphasis on enhancing the organisation's competitive advantage. The management of technologies involving the use of computer software and hardware in design and engineering, for example, have become vital to the manufacturing function, as well as impinging on a range of other functions and capabilities in the organisation. Similarly, improvement processes related to quality and others such as business process re-engineering, should be designed and implemented so that they strengthen the firm's competitive position in the marketplace. Many of these programs and activities have been used for a number of years by manufacturing firms in developed economies, but they are not as widely utilised or diffused in many developing economies, which still rely on an excess supply of cheap labour as a source of competitive advantage. In general, larger firms have a greater capacity to introduce a wide range of programs, although some smaller firms may utilise certain activities in an effective manner. This paper reports on past and planned activities in manufacturing and the payoff firms have experienced from past practices. The study seeks to examine differences in usage between firms in OECD economies and non-OECD economies and to compare the differences in the payoffs. This analysis seeks to determine if the divide between operations in developing and developed economies is reducing or if it is the case that operations in developed economies are still achieving greater payoffs than operations in developing regions such as South East Asia and Latin America. Consideration is also given to whether any of these differences are related to differences in firm size in OECD and non-OECD economies.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper takes an empirical approach to examining the action programs and activities that support a firm's manufacturing objectives. Firms should recognise that choices of change and improvement programs must fit within the firm's overall strategy, whether it is planned or emergent, and market requirements. An analysis was made of the differences between firms in OECD and Non-OECD countries, and the payoffs as a result of implementing technologies and programs in the years leading up to 1998. Overall the similarities outweigh the differences and it appears that developing countries are making substantial gains in most areas, however, small firms are still a long way behind in non-OECD economies. One area where there appears to be a significant difference between the two types of economy is in implementing a team approach. Large firms in OECD economies had a greater past use and payoff from teams and intend to make even greater use of teams in the future. In Non-OECD economies only 14% of large firms (less than 18% of all firms) are implementing a team approach in a substantial way and, although this percentage is expected to increase, there will continue to be significantly less use of team approaches than in OECD based firms into the future. This may have implications for other programs such as quality initiatives that achieve their most significant payoffs when using team-based approaches. The lack of teams in developing economies may be linked to some of the problems identified by Steenhuis (2000) such as management's inability to instil discipline and control mechanisms on the workforce. It may also be linked to lack of formal education and poor standards of training. Large firms in emerging economies believe that they will obtain greater payoffs from all the quality activities considered in this study, than the firms in OECD economies, and small firms in these emerging economies feel that they will derive greater payoffs from the large majority of the quality variables. Presumably, firms in the Non-OECD countries believe that there are still considerable payoffs to be made, whilst firms more mature in their use of quality programs believe that they have already achieved the more significant gains from these programs. On the other hand, OECD firms envisage greater payoffs from many technology activities than their Non-OECD counterparts, particularly those requiring substantial hardware and software, such as computer-aided design, numerical control and local area networks. Firms in OECD economies also see greater payoffs from activities such as implementing a team approach, activity based costing and energy conservation programs, whilst developing economies foresee better payoffs from benchmarking. It appears that the divide between emerging and developed economies that existed in the past has, at least in the firms included in this study, been significantly reduced. Also the firms in Non-OECD economies that have started to introduce interventions, are gaining significant payoffs and will continue to make gains in the future. The challenge for OECD economies and their manufacturing firms is to identify areas of ongoing competitive advantage, such as their education and technical training capabilities and their intellectual capital, that will help them to keep ahead of firms in emerging economies. Looking to the future, it is apparent that there will be a substantial increase in the use of a wide range of the action programs and interventions considered. The largest increase in the utilisation of these activities will be in the area of general change and improvement programs and the least will be in technology programs, for firms in both OECD and non-OECD economies. Large firms are expected to maintain a greater usage of most activities than the smaller firms. The largest increases are likely to be in implementing team approaches, environmental protection programs, benchmarking, and defining a manufacturing strategy. Among quality programs, TQM and zero defect programs are expected to show the largest gains, whilst shared databases is the technology activity planned to increase the most. At this stage it appears that OECD countries with well developed infrastructures in transport, power, water and telecommunications still have a competitive advantage over firms in emerging economies. The telecommunications and information technology infrastructure has provided a reliable capability to utilise and gain benefits from LANs, WANs and related technologies but this capacity can be easily, if not cheaply, replicated by other economies. The lack of technology will continue to severely hinder the progress of small firms in developing economies. It also appears that firms in both developing and developed economies, regardless of the firm's size, are benefiting and using quality and quality associated strategies, more than other programs and achieving better pay offs. Finally, it seems that firms in emerging economies are not simply copying the programs and activities that the firms in OECD economies have been utilising. They are prepared to experiment with a range of activities that they believe will pay off for them. Non-OECD firms also appear to take into account the skills and cultural background of their workforce in determining the activities that they should embrace. With respect to technological developments, there is an indication that these firms are acting conservatively, displaying some reluctance to invest in new computer hardware and software. Firms in Non-OECD economies appear to be learning from many of the mistakes made by manufacturers in the past; they are getting the basics right before they adopt major changes and they are taking an evolutionary approach rather than a revolutionary approach that has failed in the past. They seem to be introducing intervention programs that will provide maximum payoffs and are best suited to their culture and their current stage of development. So it appears that most firms in Non-OECD countries responding to this survey, are taking a strategic approach to introducing and utilising quality, technology and other intervention programs. If OECD-economies wish to maintain manufacturing operations in their own countries then they must develop capabilities that will give them a competitive advantage over Non-OECD economies. Firms in OECD economies must have the strategic capacity to identify, build and support capabilities that will provide them with a competitive advantage that allows their industry to survive.