روابط بین انتخاب عوامل محیط کسب و کار و استراتژی تولید: بینش های یک اقتصاد در حال ظهور
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Omega, Volume 31, Issue 4, August 2003, Pages 287–301
Manufacturing strategy represents the way a firm plans to deploy its manufacturing resources and to use its manufacturing capability to achieve its goals. Recent research has pointed out the important role of the business environment on the manufacturing strategy choices by organizations. However, most of the research has been confined to well-developed economies. This paper extends the research on business environment and manufacturing strategy by presenting results from an emerging economy. Using data collected from manufacturing firms in Ghana we demonstrate that in an emerging economy concerns about the competitive hostility is the factor with the strongest influence on manufacturing strategy choice.
Conceptual work in manufacturing strategy has clearly established the link between manufacturing strategy and business performance  and . A limited number of empirical studies have also been done to support the existence of the link between business environmental factors and manufacturing strategy content , , ,  and . However as noted by Ward and Duray , environmental issues have received limited consideration in empirical studies on manufacturing strategy. One of the few studies on manufacturing strategy that includes consideration of environmental issues is the Ward et al. study of 1995 . In that study Ward and his colleagues examined the impact of environmental conditions on the operations strategy of firms in Singapore. A limited number of studies have focused on the development of manufacturing strategy among firms in developing countries . This study will contribute to the existing literature by looking at manufacturing strategy in an emerging economy. The strategies that businesses adopt are influenced by the economic environment (interest rates, inflation, growth of the economy, competition, labor prices, etc.) in which they operate. Whereas the above statement might not draw any arguments within the context of highly developed economies, it is not known the extent to which that might be true in underdeveloped economies. This is particularly true with regard to the development of manufacturing strategies. Thus, this study seeks to understand the extent to which perceptions about the nature of the business environment influence the selection of specific manufacturing strategies by firms in an emerging economy. The study is confined to manufacturing firms in Ghana. However, as will be argued later, the results obtained here could provide valuable insights for firms in other countries that face similar economic situations. The purpose of this study is to examine how various business environmental factors influence the choice of competitive manufacturing strategies when a company is facing harsh economic conditions. The paper will identify the specific relationships among the business environmental factors of costs, labor availability, competitive hostility, and dynamism and the manufacturing strategies of low cost, quality, flexibility and dependability. Several contributions are evident from this study. First, the study allows us to understand how models developed to explain the influence of business environment on manufacturing strategy content in mostly developed or rapidly developing economies might (or might not) be applicable in underdeveloped economies. There have been some inconclusive empirical results on the transferability of organizational theories from developed countries to developing countries . Therefore, if it can be demonstrated that the models using data from more advanced economies are applicable in other environments, then the generalizability of those models can be extended and while at the same time broadening the external validity of the theories and constructs underlying those models. The second contribution is an understanding of how different perceptions about the business environment lead to the adoption of different manufacturing strategies. The third contribution is to determine if the factors firm size and degree of foreign ownership help explain the influence that business environment has on the selection of manufacturing strategy.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Only a few studies have examined the impact that business environmental factors have on manufacturing strategy. The focus of most of these studies, however, has been on advanced or new industrialized economies. This paper examines the relationships between manufacturing strategy content and business environment factors in a different context, an emerging economy. The manufacturing strategies that firms develop are expected to be influenced by the nature of the business environment in which they operate. Because the environment is often characterized by uncertainty and turbulence, it is expected that firms will emphasize strategies that enable them respond to those conditions. This paper has examined how the business environmental factors of competitive hostility, business costs, labor availability and environmental dynamism affect the degree of emphasis that is placed on the manufacturing strategy choices of flexibility, quality, low cost and delivery dependability. Our results confirm that business environment factors do influence manufacturing strategy content, even in an emerging economy such as pertains in Ghana. Additionally, it can be concluded that in an environment of increasing imports, regulatory reforms and declining prices the competitive hostility of the environment is the factor that is of greatest concern to manufacturers as they decide on which strategies to emphasize. The next environmental factor that has some influence is business costs. Other factors such as environmental dynamism and labor availability are of least concern and have little influence on the manufacturing strategy content. Sometimes, the influence that environmental factors have on manufacturing strategies depends on the size of the firm and also on whether it has some foreign ownership. Although the study was carried out in Ghana, it is noted that several countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean face similar environments as most of these countries either have implemented or are implementing IMF/World Bank reforms. Thus, for researchers these environments present opportunities to extend the theory on business environment and manufacturing strategy and in particular to begin examining how the specificity of the environment contributes to specific manufacturing strategy content. For practicing managers, the results of our study provide insights on how manufacturing managers are reacting to business environmental conditions through manufacturing strategies. They compare their own strategies of with those discussed here and see if modifications are worth considering. An obvious limitation of this study is the relatively small sample size although the sample size compares favorably with the sample size of other studies on manufacturing strategy ,  and . Future studies in other environments should aim at larger sample sizes. This study did not look the role that other variables, beside the business environment, might have on manufacturing strategy content. Other variables such as the culture, decision making techniques, and the political environment might have an effect on the emphasis that managers place on manufacturing strategy variables and these might be worth examining in future studies.