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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10719||2006||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 24, Issue 5, September 2006, Pages 621–636
A taxonomy not only provides a parsimonious description of strategic groups that is useful in discussion and research, but also aids theory building. However, taxonomic studies in the operations strategy literature are scarce. Major studies that use North American or European data to develop taxonomies of manufacturing strategies contend that the applicability of their identified taxonomies to other countries remains unclear. Furthermore, the construction of theory is not complete without regular verification and replication to account for competitive paradigm shifts and new environmental imperatives. In our study, we replicated the well-acknowledged taxonomy of manufacturing strategies of [Miller, J.G., Roth, A.V., 1994. A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies, Management Science 40 (3), 285–304] using data from one of the world's fastest growing economies—China. A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies is identified and is found to be different from the strategic clusters of Caretakers, Marketeers and Innovators in Miller and Roth. The underlying dimensions that defined our clusters are also different from those in Miller and Roth. Our study also derived an interesting insight that a taxonomy that is based on realized strength rather than emphasis on competitive capabilities can better explain a company's financial performance.
Perceptions about the strategic value of the operations function have steadily changed since operations was suggested to be a competitive weapon (Miller and Rogers, 1956 and Skinner, 1978). In recent years, an increasing number of studies have examined the conceptual and theoretical development of operations strategies. However, most research in this area has focused on investigating the relationship between a few constructs, with relatively little emphasis on the identification of strategic configurations and taxonomies (Bozarth and McDermott, 1998 and Frohlich and Dixon, 2001). The development of configurations, typologies and taxonomies is fundamental to strategy research, and is particularly useful when the research goal is the determination of the dominant patterns in organizations, or when the relationships between individual variables are either poorly understood or too complex to be modeled using traditional approaches (Miller, 1996 and Ketchen and Shook, 1996). One of the most popular and referenced taxonomic studies on manufacturing strategy is Miller and Roth (1994). Using data collected in 1987 from US manufacturing companies, they identified three strategic types of manufacturers: Caretakers, Innovators and Marketeers. Miller and Roth (1994, p. 301) stated that “an important line of future research is to test the stability of this taxonomy globally, and over time.” The taxonomy of Miller and Roth (1994) was longitudinally replicated using a new set of US and global data in Frohlich and Dixon (2001). Although the taxonomy of Miller and Roth was partially supported, Frohlich and Dixon found that the Marketeers had been replaced by a new strategic type they called Designers. More importantly, they identified new strategic types (Idlers, Servers and Mass Customizers) from the global data that led them to caution researchers that the “North American model of manufacturing strategy should not be haphazardly applied to global data. It also raises the question of whether the new strategy types uncovered in this study are endogenous to each region, or if they will eventually diffuse to other parts of the world.” Frohlich and Dixon stated that their global findings required validation and replication. The need to periodically re-examine the clustering of manufacturing companies and to factor in context was further highlighted in Kathuria (2000). Frohlich and Dixon (2001) provided an in-depth review of the role and importance of replication in the construction of theory. Our study updates the literature on taxonomy using more recent data, and tests whether the taxonomy of Miller and Roth (1994) is applicable to one of the fastest growing economies in the world—China. From 1978 to 2002, China's real domestic product registered an average growth of 9.6% per year (China National Statistical Bureau, 2003). China is also exerting a growing influence on the world economy. Although China contributed only about 4% to the US$ 32 trillion world economy in 2002, it accounted for 17.5% of the growth in world GDP, second only to the US. Similarly, in the same year China accounted for about 5% of the total world manufacturing exports, but this represented 29% of the total growth in manufacturing output. China is thus making a highly disproportionate contribution to the growth dynamics of a sluggish world economy (Roach, 2003). In the 1980s and 1990s, many developed and emerging economies, such as the US, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Singapore, shifted their production bases to China where manufacturing costs were relatively lower. Although foreign investment remains an important trend, many Chinese manufacturing companies are currently competing both in the domestic and global markets where cost is not necessarily the key competitive requirement. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Chinese manufacturing companies are still competing primarily on cost-based paradigms. Indeed, Zhao et al. (2002) found that Chinese companies used different combinations of manufacturing capabilities to compete. Although China is becoming one of the world's largest manufacturing centers, relatively little is known about the manufacturing strategies adopted by Chinese manufacturers. To date, we have been unable to identify any study in the literature that has rigorously examined the manufacturing strategies of Chinese manufacturers. A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies will serve as a useful mechanism to better understand China's manufacturing role and position in the global marketplace. Furthermore, China's transformation from a centrally planned economy to a market economy presents unique problems and opportunities in the management of manufacturing activities, and makes China an interesting research setting for academics, practitioners and investors. A taxonomy of Chinese manufacturing strategies will enrich the operations strategy literature that has been built primarily from North American and European experiences. The objectives of our study are: 1. to identify a taxonomy of manufacturing strategies for Chinese companies; 2. to compare our taxonomy with the taxonomy of Miller and Roth (1994); 3. to examine the relationship between manufacturing strategy and financial performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our results and analysis reveal important insights into the manufacturing landscape in China. Several research and managerial implications can be drawn. 5.1. Applicability of manufacturing strategy taxonomy None of the US-based manufacturing strategies of Miller and Roth (1994) was found in our Chinese taxonomy. There were also no common clusters between our taxonomy and Frohlich and Dixon's (2001) taxonomy that was constructed from US, South American, European and Asia-Pacific data. Our result thus supports the assertion of Miller and Roth (1994) and Frohlich and Dixon (2001) that new manufacturing strategies can take shape in different parts of the world where the competitive environment and context are different. The manufacturing strategies in our taxonomy may be ascribed to the distinct Chinese business environment. Companies in China are affected and influenced by the effects of shifting from a centrally planned to a market-driven economy including legacy practices on employee welfare and social obligations and a predominant cost-oriented mindset. However, as the Chinese economy stabilizes over the next decade and as the market requirements change, a new set of manufacturing strategies with different imperatives may emerge among Chinese manufacturers as they try to stay competitive in the global marketplace. The implication of this study is that the replication and verification of existing manufacturing strategies should remain an important element in taxonomic research. The replication of our study using other global or Asia-Pacific would shed more light on the extent to which economic, social, political, and market factors influence the formulation of manufacturing strategy. Although our study provides a better understanding of China's manufacturing landscape, our taxonomy pertains to a specific time in the development of the Chinese economy. It would be pertinent to revisit the taxonomy periodically to track how Chinese manufacturing strategies are evolving with changes in the market. Another research imperative is to embark on longitudinal taxonomic studies with an emphasis on the identification of the relationships between manufacturing strategies and the competitive environment, and the specific contextual elements that define these relationships. 5.2. Sustainability of strategic competitive capabilities Our taxonomy reveals four distinct manufacturing strategies that emphasize different sets of competitive capabilities. It is generally agreed in the literature that competitive capabilities can be categorized into four fundamental or “elemental” items: cost, quality, delivery and flexibility (Hayes and Wheelwright, 1984, Hill, 1985, Schmenner, 1987, Ferdows and DeMeyer, 1990, Schmenner and Swink, 1998 and Ward et al., 1998). Although some of our clusters focused on relatively narrow sets of fundamental capabilities, others chose to emphasize a broader range of priorities. For example, the top four capabilities emphasized by the Quality Customizers pertained primarily to quality and flexibility, whereas the Specialized Contractors placed the highest importance on delivery (speed), cost and quality. The top four capabilities of the Mass Servers were quality, flexibility (variety), cost and delivery (speed). Since Skinner (1974) introduced the focused factory concept that argues that companies should not attempt to develop a broad range of manufacturing capabilities because of limited resources and the inherent trade-offs between capabilities, numerous studies have attempted to verify this notion of trade-off and examine other ways of relating capabilities to each other. Although alternative models have been proposed to depict the relationship between the capabilities, such as the cumulative model of Ferdows and DeMeyer (1990) and Noble (1995), there is a significant number of studies (e.g., Silveira and Slack, 2001 and Boyer and Lewis, 2002) that have corroborated the existence and relevance of trade-offs in today's manufacturing context. A managerial implication of our findings for Chinese manufacturers is that they should be mindful of the potential trade-offs between competitive capabilities. In particular, the Mass Servers that appear to base their manufacturing strategy on the multiple fundamental capabilities of quality, flexibility, cost and delivery may find it difficult and costly to develop all of these capabilities at the same time. The emphasis on such a wide range of fundamental capabilities requires extensive resources and programs for their implementation, and could also result in a lack of focus and an incoherent strategy. Concentrating on a narrower set of capabilities would result in a more effective allocation of resources and would avoid conflict or trade-offs. 5.3. Choice of taxons Our findings suggest that manufacturing strategies derived from realized performance, rather than the emphasis on competitive capabilities, may be better predictors of financial performance. This is not surprising, as financial outcome is likely to be associated with achieved strength rather than intent. It should be noted that the choice of taxons in a taxonomy should depend on what the researcher intends to accomplish (Miller and Roth, 1994 and Pegels and Sekar, 1989). Miller and Roth's (1994) approach of using emphasis scores to derive manufacturing strategies can be traced back to the articles of Skinner (1974) and Hayes and Wheelwright (1984) on manufacturing priorities. The idea is that manufacturing strategy follows business priorities that, in turn, are based on corporate strategy. These are independent decisions that each manufacturing company must make. The research objective of Miller and Roth was to investigate manufacturing strategy as reflected by the intent to focus on a particular set of competitive capabilities. Manufacturing strategy can thus be used as a basis to evaluate congruence and consistency between a business strategy and a manufacturing strategy. Our results reveal that manufacturing intent has a relatively weak association with perceived financial performance, whereas relative strength compared to competitors has a much stronger relationship with performance. This carries an important implication for taxonomic research. If the research objective is to identify manufacturing strategies (i.e., manufacturing intent), then the taxonomy should be constructed based on the emphasis or importance placed on competitive capabilities. However, if a taxonomy is to be used to explain performance (e.g., financial performance), then strength in competitive capabilities might be a more viable alternative. In conclusion, our study extends the literature in several ways. Our study is the first to provide an in-depth investigation of the manufacturing strategies of companies in one of the world's fastest growing economies—China. Using data collected from manufacturing companies in Tianjin, we identified a taxonomy with four distinct manufacturing strategies that differ from those found in previous studies. We thus provide further evidence that the testing and replication of taxonomies is an important element of taxonomic research, and that further international studies are needed on the taxonomies and typologies of manufacturing strategies.