مطالعه تجربی از تولید انعطاف پذیر شرکت های صادر کننده در چین : چگونه موضوع زمینه های استراتژیک و سازمانی انجام می شود؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3646||2008||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 37, Issue 6, August 2008, Pages 738–751
Using evidence from exporting firms in China, this research aims to determine the conditions that foster manufacturing flexibility and the way in which firms support it. The contingency perspective and the competence and capability theory are utilized to develop a framework to enhance the knowledge of internal competence, external flexibility, and manufacturing performance, and the understanding of the moderating roles of strategic and organizational choice on the competence–flexibility and flexibility–performance relationships. Empirical evidence from a sample of 222 export product/market ventures confirmed the main effect that manufacturing, assembly outsourcing, and marketing competencies support a firm's manufacturing flexibility and in turn enhance manufacturing performance. Several notable moderating effects were also identified. Although a strategic emphasis on low-cost manufacturing and long-term contracting weakens a firm's transformation of core competencies into flexible capabilities, specific organizational choices regarding private ownership and direct exporting strengthen the conversion of manufacturing flexibility to superior manufacturing performance.
Since China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, there has been a rapid inflow of foreign direct investment into the country, and multinational enterprises have been eager to establish production bases in China to serve regional and world markets. These phenomena have not only earned China the status of “factory of the world,” but have also led the country to become the world's third largest exporter (WTO, 2005). However, in addition to macro development in the manufacturing sector, it is vital that individual manufacturing firms in China have the ability to compete on cost, quality, and flexibility. In general, manufacturers face an increasingly uncertain external environment as the rate of change in customer expectations, global competition, and technology accelerates (Claycomb, Droge, & Germain, 2005). Manufacturing managers contend that manufacturing flexibility is the strategic imperative that enables firms to cope with uncertainty and maintain high performance ( Gerwin, 1993a, Gerwin, 1993b, Matthyssens et al., 2005 and Slack, 2005). However, marketing researchers have not explored the impact of manufacturing flexibility on the performance of exporting firms in China. Manufacturing flexibility, which is the focus of this study, refers to the ability to meet increasingly varied customer expectations without incurring excessive costs, time, organizational disruption, or loss of performance. Two themes in the literature on manufacturing flexibility are of particular relevance to this research: knowledge of the antecedents of manufacturing flexibility and the conclusions that have so far been drawn about the impact of manufacturing flexibility on manufacturing performance. In terms of the former, although key structural and infrastructural influences such as advanced manufacturing technology and labor (Boyer et al., 1997, McDermott et al., 1997, Safizadeh et al., 1996, Upton, 1995 and Upton, 1997) have been identified as antecedents of manufacturing flexibility, few studies have looked beyond advanced manufacturing technology to investigate the antecedents of manufacturing flexibility (Narasimhan, Talluri, & Das, 2004). It has been suggested that future studies should consider using more broadly measured structural attributes to account for manufacturing flexibility (Vokurka & O'Leary-Kelly, 2000). Using the competence and capability theory (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990, Stalk et al., 1992 and Teece et al., 1997) as a basis, Zhang, Vonderembse, and Lim (2003) reported a significant relationship between internal manufacturing competencies and external flexibility capabilities. This study aims to extend their framework to examine the relationship between manufacturing flexibility and various internal competencies, namely, manufacturing, assembly outsourcing, and marketing competencies. The holistic framework of Gerwin, 1987 and Gerwin, 1993a,b) posits a direct line of causation between external or operational uncertainties and manufacturing flexibility. However, this study suggests that Gerwin's framework may not work for all firms, because companies do not and cannot obtain identical degrees of flexibility by adopting the same competencies. This study instead proposes a model that utilizes strategic positioning constructs as moderating effects in a causal model of the relationship between internal competencies and manufacturing flexibility. According to Narasimhan et al. (2004), an important step toward a more fulsome understanding of internal competencies would be a detailed examination of the facilitating effects of moderating variables on the internal competence-manufacturing flexibility relationship. This study serves to develop such an understanding with particular regard to the requirements for manufacturing flexibility that are imposed by the strategic choices of a firm. In terms of the impact of manufacturing flexibility on manufacturing performance, two competing models have emerged: those that suggest a direct relationship and those that propose a moderated relationship (Vokurka & O'Leary-Kelly, 2000). Although some studies (Swamidass and Newell, 1987 and Vickery et al., 1997) have found a significant positive relationship between production flexibility and financial performance, others (Fiegenbaum & Karnani, 1991) have found the flexibility–financial performance relationship to be moderated by firm size. Gupta and Somers (1996) reported a direct relationship between flexibility and growth performance, whereas Parthasarthy and Seith (1993) found the flexibility–growth performance relationship to be moderated by several variables of strategy (such as those involving scope, quality, and cost) and structure (such as skill specialization and the use of teams). This conflicting evidence highlights the need for more research in this area. Accordingly, this study aims to determine whether the relationship between manufacturing flexibility and performance in China is contingent upon structural context, that is, state-owned versus private-owned enterprises, and market entry strategy, that is, domestic agency versus foreign agency. The main objective of this study is to investigate the direct effect of internal core competencies on manufacturing flexibility. A second objective is to determine the contingency effect of strategic positioning on the competence–flexibility relationship, and a third objective is to examine whether some firms are more effective than others in converting their flexibility into higher levels of performance. The outcomes of these objectives will have important implications for managers who are tasked with identifying the drivers that assist firms to better leverage their capabilities. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 reviews the literature on conceptualizations of manufacturing flexibility. The conceptual model is proposed and described in Section 3. The data collection and analyses are discussed in 4 and 5, and the managerial and research implications are presented in Section 6.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study provides a two-stage framework. In the first stage, the competence and capability theory is applied to build a systematic research model that relates internal core competencies and external flexibility capabilities to manufacturing performance outcomes. Empirical analysis across a large number of manufacturing organizations confirms that competencies in the core areas of manufacturing, assembly outsourcing, and marketing lead to greater range flexibility and response flexibility, which in turn enhance the economic and innovation aspects of manufacturing performance. In the second stage, the contingency perspective is used as a basis for the introduction of additional intervening strategic and organizational variables into the model. It is argued that these strategic and organizational variables have critical and distinct roles in China, with firms exploiting their core competencies and manufacturing flexibility to attain superior manufacturing performance. The empirical findings confirm that although a strategic emphasis on low-cost manufacturing and long-term contracting weakens the ability of a firm to transform its core competencies into flexible capabilities, the specific organizational contexts of private ownership and direct exporting strengthen the conversion of manufacturing flexibility into superior manufacturing performance. 6.1. Directions for future research In this study, the competence and capability theory is applied to identify some broadly measured competence-based antecedents of manufacturing flexibilities, and it is empirically confirmed that different competencies affect different dimensions of manufacturing flexibility. In keeping with the competence and capability theory, future research could expand the predictor set by including all four aspects of value chain flexibility, that is, product development, manufacturing, logistics, and spanning flexibilities (Day, 1994). According to Zhang, Vonderembse, and Lim (2002), flexible design and development enables firms to introduce new products quickly; flexible manufacturing shortens the lead time and cost of customization; flexibility in physical supply, purchasing, distribution, and demand management reduces inventory level; and intra- and inter-firm flexibility in coordinating product design, production, and delivery adds value for customers. Future research could examine the relationships among these four dimensions of value chain flexibility. Based on the contingency perspective, this study identifies and empirically confirms the moderating role of certain strategic and organizational factors in the competence–flexibility relationship and flexibility–performance relationship. In line with the contingency perspective, future research could delineate these moderators in specific and actionable terms. Narasimhan et al. (2004) suggested that whereas supply chain configuration and practices may moderate the competence–flexibility relationship in the up-stream direction, customer and market integration practices may moderate the flexibility–performance relationship in the down-stream direction. Additional research is also needed to identify these moderating inputs and to determine why high competence firms are able to exploit these inputs more effectively than low and medium competence firms. Further research opportunities lie in developing a better understanding of the facilitators of flexibility and the development of direct measures for these constructs. 6.2. Implications for managers Looking at internal core competencies and external flexible capabilities together enables managers to develop a comprehensive view of manufacturing flexibility. As Zhang et al. (2003) remarked “customers are not willing to pay more because machines and workers are more flexible. Customers value the manifestation of these competencies, which is the capability of the organization to provide the right product, at the right time, and in the correct quantity.” Managers must plan and manage manufacturing flexibility in terms of both external advantage-creating capabilities and internal supporting competencies. Core competencies by themselves are not enough to build a substantial competitive advantage. Management can, however, plan, organize, and coordinate production activities in such a way as to align internal core competencies with customer expectations to achieve a competitive advantage. Manufacturing competence affects range flexibility through the ability to reschedule production orders and materials supply without significant cost penalties and time delays, whereas marketing competence affects response flexibility through the ability to plan aggregate customer demand, coordinate distribution activities, and bring about quick responses and timely delivery. Assembly outsourcing competence relies on subcontractors to absorb some of the pressure on product variety and quick delivery, and contributes to both range and response flexibility. The contingency perspective also serves to engender an appreciation of the additional requirements that are placed on manufacturing flexibility by strategic and organizational choices. Based on the principle of fit (Vokurka & O'Leary-Kelly, 2000), the contingency view predicts that firms that are able to achieve the “appropriate” fit between competencies and manufacturing flexibility exhibit a higher level of performance. However, “misfits” often arise in China, as demonstrated by the popular adoption of low-cost strategies to achieve economies of scale that actually serves to reduce product range flexibility, despite the fact that manufacturing competence is available to engage in flexible production. Another commonly occurring misfit in China is the widespread adoption of long-term contracting strategies that rely on market power to reduce product demand uncertainty, which proactively reduces the need for flexibility despite the fact that the marketing competence exists to achieve flexible delivery. Managers are advised to avoid such misfits by refraining from placing incompatible demands on the manufacturing system when seeking to maximize the impact of the firm's manufacturing and marketing competencies on manufacturing flexibility. It is perfectly possible to achieve an appropriate fit. In China, when privately owned enterprises make good use of their decision-making autonomy to enable efficient resource allocation for flexible production, range flexibility is enhanced and thus economic performance is improved. Similarly, when direct exporters make use of the input of foreign-based agents to plan, coordinate, and integrate foreign marketing activities to ensure flexible quality responses and quick delivery, response flexibility is developed that in turn improves both the economic and innovation performance outcomes. It is recommended that although enterprises in China would benefit from increased decision-making autonomy in general, exporters in China would benefit from encouraging their foreign agents to participate in decision making to maximize the impact of manufacturing flexibility on manufacturing performance. In conclusion, although this study provides theoretical and practical insight into the notion of manufacturing flexibility, future studies need to extend the study and its implications to different business and country settings to determine the generalizability of the findings.