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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10667||2002||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 20, Issue 3, June 2002, Pages 241–257
This paper presents an exploratory investigation of the manufacturing/marketing (hereafter M/M) interface. Drawing on the literature and prior empirical work in M/M strategies, we propose a path model for assessing the mediating impact of the M/M interface harmony—the functions’ ability to work together—on M/M morale and business performance. Using two convenience samples of executives, we empirically test the direct and indirect influence of predisposing factors (antecedents) and performance outcomes (consequences) that are expected theoretically to influence or be influenced by M/M interface harmony. We find that 11 of the 13 hypothesized direct effects are significant at the 0.012 level or below; and attesting to the mediating influence of the M/M ability to work together, 11 of the 12 indirect effects were significant at the 0.02 level or below. Increasing the emphasis on the importance of marketing or manufacturing, or both, improves the ability of both functions to work harmoniously, which in turn impacts M/M morale. Interfunctional harmony appears to have a stronger influence on each function’s morale than the importance attached to that function, ceteris paribus. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the study provides insight on the distinctive roles whereby marketing and manufacturing functions influence performance. Marketing acts to improve competitive position and profitability through the mediating influence of M/M interface harmony and improved marketing morale. However, manufacturing morale was not shown to be a significant factor impacting performance. Rather, emphasis on manufacturing impacts competitive position directly, as indicated by the resource-based view of manufacturing strategy. This exploratory study provides new empirical evidence that the M/M interface harmony, as expressed by the functions’ ability to work together, matters significantly to business outcomes directly and indirectly.
A growing number of operations management scholars have explicitly emphasized the importance of integrating manufacturing and marketing (hereafter M/M) perspectives in the formulation of strategy. Shortened product life cycles, technological advancements in products and processes, globalization of markets, consumerism, and the rapidity of change have only exacerbated the perceived need to link M/M strategies. Indeed, the normative perspective today is that interfunctional cooperation and communication are essential antecedents of business success (Bates et al., 1995, Giffi et al., 1990, Hauser and Clausing, 1988, Hausman and Montgomery, 1986, Hausman and Montgomery, 1993, Hausman and Montgomery, 1997, Moorman, 1995 and Papke-Shields and Malhotra, 2001). Despite the prima facie importance of working together, one function’s strategy, directed at bolstering its role or solving its own area’s problems, is often at odds with the strategies of other functional areas. As external environments become more volatile and internal resources become more scarce, anecdotal evidence increasingly points to one important conclusion: Executive parlays gravitating toward a single functional orientation, such as marketing or manufacturing, frequently evoke a significant inability of functions to work together. This lack of harmony engenders interfunctional conflict, which is believed by some to lead to less-than-optimal business performance (Hayes and Wheelwright, 1984 and Hill, 1989). This exploratory research subjects to empirical scrutiny a construct that we describe as M/M interface harmony, which represents the ability of manufacturing and marketing to work together in strategy implementation. We ask: given certain predisposing conditions, what is the influence of M/M interface harmony on M/M morale and business performance? To answer this question, we propose and empirically test a path model of M/M interface harmony. The variables and direction of relationships posited in our model and propositions concerning M/M interface harmony are built upon theoretical considerations and prior empirical studies drawn from the operations management, marketing, strategy, and organizational behavior literatures. A common way of viewing manufacturing strategy is to distinguish between the process of strategy formulation and its implementation. In the context of overall business strategy formulation, the importance of iterating cross-functionally between manufacturing and marketing strategies is stressed (Andrews, 1971, Giffi et al., 1990, Hill, 1989, Karmarkar, 1993, Marucheck et al., 1990, Roth and Miller, 1992 and Wheelwright, 1978). Underlying this logic is this: better harmony is possible if decision makers from both functional areas are involved in formulating the strategic planning. Strong theoretical arguments for such cross-functional collaboration in the business strategy process are put forth by the resource based view (RBV), where the task of every organization is to create truly distinctive, inimitable competencies due to combinative firm resources (Barney, 1986, Barney, 1991, Penrose, 1959 and Wernerfelt, 1984). Most recently, to compete in increasingly high velocity markets, business strategists emphasize the need for dynamic capabilities (Clark, 1996, Menor et al., in press, Porter, 1996 and Roth, 1996). As defined by Teece and Pisano (1994, p. 537), these dynamic capabilities pertain to “management capability to effectively coordinate and redeploy internal and external competencies.” Dynamic capabilities clearly connote cross-functional perspectives of how individual functions relate to one another and the overall “fit” between functional strategies and the overall strategy (Porter, 1996). Despite the theoretical and normative prescriptions, the literature that specifically addresses the antecedents and consequences of M/M interface harmony in implementation is scant. M/M interface harmony has been under-emphasized in marketing strategy research and is absent in manufacturing strategy research. Although there is some evidence suggesting that marketing and manufacturing should work together, there has been little, if any, inductive research into the mediating influence (or lack thereof) of interfunctional harmony and M/M morale on business performance in the context of M/M strategy (Parente, 1998). Our research provides insights into the psycho-social or ‘soft’ aspects of M/M strategy implementation and is a stepping off point for future research on strategy implementation. Our exploratory approach is also conducive to further theory development and the fostering of new behaviorally oriented studies on the aspects of M/M strategy formulation and implementation, which have generally been understudied in M/M strategy research. The paper is organized as follows. In Section 2 we review the relevant literature on the M/M interface and develop the model and a series of theory-driven propositions (expectations). Section 3 provides a description of the methodology used to test the model, while in Section 4 we present and discuss the results. The paper concludes with a summary of the findings and their implications for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper we have argued that manufacturing and marketing strategy research and practice would benefit from a better understanding of how the functions’ ability to work together (e.g. M/M interface harmony) mediates performance. Assessment of the manufacturing and marketing strategy literature, coupled with anecdotal accounts from practitioners, suggested that a successful business strategy implementation will increasingly depend on the M/M ability to work together harmoniously. In order to explore this possibility, we proposed a recursive path model of M/M strategy implementation that was framed by the extant literature. We employed two convenience samples of highly and broadly experienced senior executives for exploratory model calibration and validation. Finding model and parameter invariance across the two groups, we pooled the two samples for presentation and discussion here. Our model, formulated as a recursive path analytic model, incorporates proxy variables for antecedents and consequences of M/M functions’ ability to work together. It casts the relative importance of manufacturing and marketing strategies, respectively, as two distinct antecedents that predispose the two functions to work together for their mutual benefit and goal attainment. Further, our model views both behavioral and business consequences as mediated by M/M interface harmony. While this formative study is exploratory in nature (limitations are discussed below), our results provide a number of major insights that contribute to interdisciplinary M/M strategy research and practice. First, while hardly surprising, the study empirically demonstrates that business performance is enhanced when manufacturing and marketing work harmoniously together for goal attainment. This clarifies and extends findings in prior research, which is predominantly case-based (see Hill, 1989). Also, as anticipated, M/M interface harmony influences both manufacturing and marketing morale. Thus, the behavioral construct of M/M interface harmony emerges as a key management lever worthy of more rigorous empirical investigation. Higher levels of harmony act to increase both manufacturing and marketing morale, with a stronger competitive position resulting both directly and indirectly via marketing morale, and leading in turn to higher profit performance. This result strongly suggests that manufacturers benefit from employing deliberate interventions to improve M/M interface harmony. Second, our model sheds light on one way senior managers can foster M/M interface harmony and paves the way for new research on its antecedents. Harmony is strongly influenced by both marketing strategy importance and manufacturing strategy importance. While this perspective is advanced in the emerging manufacturing strategy literature, it is not found to be uniformly prevalent in practice. Hence, strategic management should strive to view both marketing and manufacturing as key contributors to a firm’s competitive strategy—not only for its inherent benefit vis-à-vis bolstering competitive strategy, but also as a significant way to increase M/M harmony, and in turn, achieve the performance benefits described above. The third contribution of this research, however, is the suggestion that while the importance of both M/M strategy has positive returns, very different behavioral mechanisms may be operative in explaining the influence of each function’s strategy, respectively, on morale and competitive position. This notion suggests a contingency effect for theory building, and consequently, for the tactics that marketing and manufacturing executives should take to influence overall business performance. While the relative importance attached to the manufacturing strategy directly and indirectly influences competitive position, our exploratory assessment of the marketing strategy importance suggests that its impact on performance is indirect, being mediated by behavioral aspects of M/M interface harmony and marketing morale. The flip side is that contrary to conventional wisdom, the level of manufacturing morale has no direct influence on competitive position. Thus, we tentatively conclude from the RBV that the availability of appropriate manufacturing resources provides a direct competitive advantage, but that the influence of manufacturing morale on performance is a more complex phenomenon worthy of future research. Because this is a cross-sectional study, causality cannot be determined here. Consequently, investigation of any possible temporal influences, such as the cumulative influence of manufacturing morale on performance or even the reverse influence of performance on functional morale, is best left for future studies. Fourth, taken together, our findings highlight a significant gap in the current manufacturing strategy literature, indicating that the behavioral aspects of M/M strategy implementation may be indeed a “missing link” in advancing theory and practice. While hardly surprising, the results reinforce the need to look beyond the obvious in M/M strategy implementation. For example, emphasizing both marketing and manufacturing strategies will directly affect the respective function’s morale. The former has a direct favorable affect on competitive position, as mentioned above, while presumably an improvement in functional-area morale is also desirable from human resource management considerations. The bottom line for senior managers is this: Bringing both manufacturing and marketing to the organization’s strategy table is smart business. Despite its merits as an exploratory investigation of M/M interface harmony, this study has certain limitations that should be recognized. First, the nature of the study limits it to the use of single measurement items, which are susceptible to error. The next step in advancing this line of scholarly inquiry is to develop more precise measures that go beyond the use of single items. For example, quality of transaction processing between manufacturing and marketing, effectiveness of communications flows between these functions, and the level of interfunctional cooperation might serve as starting items toward developing a better scale for manufacturing/marketing harmony. We advocate rigorous scale development for the constructs capturing the behavioral dimensions of manufacturing strategy implementation. Second, our sample employed single respondents. To mitigate against common methods bias, we used knowledgeable executives. This approach is consistent with that specified by Mitchell (1994) and recognizes the inherent tradeoffs made in weighing the usefulness of large scale surveys for evaluating our path model versus in-depth cases (Papke-Shields and Malhotra, 2001, Malhotra and Grover, 1998 and Meredith, 1998). Third, because our sample was not random, unknown biases resulting from the use of executives attending Stanford executive programs could be present. A broadening of the sampling frame is called for in future research. Fourth, as indicated earlier, the use of a cross-sectional study limits our ability to address the temporal, reverse causality, and cumulative effects of M/M interface harmony and morale on sustaining business performance. Fifth, in Section 2 we speculate that the relations in our exploratory model are likely to be enhanced by market velocity, turbulence, and uncertainty. Our current measures did not allow us to explore this speculation, which is both a limitation of the current research and an opportunity. Future study is needed to address these concerns for theory building and to extend this line of inquiry. Future research might also examine the extent to which the results might differ given different contextual factors, such as among firms operating under very different circumstances (e.g. large versus small, high tech versus lower tech, or with different manufacturing processes) or under different levels of environmental uncertainty. Furthermore, the influence of leadership in creating a climate should be seriously considered for inclusion in future studies of manufacturing strategy, especially in light of its pervasive influence documented in the literature. Clearly, further investigation of the M/M interface is important to strategy implementation. It also suggests that the “soft” side of manufacturing strategy merits consideration in future research. In summary, this exploratory empirical study serves to shift the paradigm of manufacturing strategy toward its boundaries with other functions, as advocated by Clark (1996).