A research in manufacturing strategy and competitiveness : models and practices

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A research in manufacturing strategy and competitiveness : models and practices


Author: Leung, Hau-nung
Title: A research in manufacturing strategy and competitiveness : models and practices
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Manufacturing resource planning
Production planning
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: x, 447 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1667749
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5285
Abstract: Manufacturing-strategy is the course of actions to build up the manufacturing-competitiveness. Therefore, how to make use of different types of manufacturing-strategy to stimulate the continuous growth of manufacturing-competitiveness is an important topic concerning all manufacturing firms. To address this issue, this dissertation contributes several theoretical models to this topic. The theoretical models provide a foundation which enables us to develop a practicable decision-support tool to assist practitioners in identifying their manufacturing-strategy. The first research issue was to quest for the meaning of the manufacturing-competitiveness. A mathematical model was developed to explain that the manufacturing firm's competitiveness (when defined as the value-added produced by the firm) is governed by two types of organizational competence, i.e., (i) the New-Value Creativeness, and the (ii) the Operation-Leanness. In other words, the manufacturing-competitiveness (i.e. the value-added performance) can be elevated if the manufacturing firm follow any one of these two competitiveness evolution paths. The subsequent explorations were to quest for the manufacturing strategies that may plausibly propel the growth of the New-Value Creativeness and the Operation Leanness. We classified the growth of competitiveness into three progressive stages, i.e., the stages of Adaptation, Transformation, and Generation. Corresponding to different stages and different paths of the competitiveness growth, different manufacturing strategies were suggested. A manufacturing-strategy is composed of two principal strategies, i.e., (i) the manufacturing-task strategy, which means an improvement task to establish a certain kind of capabilities, such as quality, cost, and flexibility, etc.; and (ii) the manufacturing-choice strategy, which means an adoption of the suitable manufacturing technologies and practices, such as JIT, TQM, or MRP, etc. By analytical reasoning, two theoretical models were formulated to envision the different types of manufacturing-strategies suitable for the different stages and paths of the competitiveness growth. The models above were statistically tested by an internationally surveyed database, i.e., the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS). This database consists of more than seven hundred companies coming from twenty-four countries. Part of the research work of this project was to conduct the IMSS for the Hong Kong region. The theoretical models were statistically examined. There is a good degree of resemblance between the findings and our theoretical expectations. To apply the ideas of these theoretical models, a computer program (a decision-support prototype) was developed to turn the theories into a practicable tool. The program was used by three different manufacturing companies. Respectively, they belonged to the stage of Adaptation, Transformation, and Generation. The case studies of these three companies showed that the program provides suitable manufacturing-strategy suggestions to address their needs. As a whole, this dissertation contributes a theoretical framework envisioning the progressive advancement of the manufacturing-strategy to elevate the manufacturing-competitiveness.

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