"Time" has been appointed as a new source of Competitive Advantage (CA) and following this trend flexibility, that is deeply related to quick responses for changes in the environment, becomes a key element for CA Using survey data collected from 212 manufacturing companies in US, we investigate the importance of flexibility and Information Technology (IT) as major elements in achieving CA. We identify CA from performance measures related to market growth, market share and profitability. Flexibility is evaluated using manufacturing and product development perspectives, emphasizing changes in these two business functions. The study also looks at the relationship between the integration of Information Systems (IS) and introduction of Information Technology (IT), and key variables for CA The results support the hypothesis that flexibility is related to the measures of CA and show that IS/IT is primarily related to the service dimension
Investigating flexibility and information technology as key elements for competitive advantage
Guilherme Guedes Xavier
"Time" has been appointed as a new source of Competitive Advantage (CA) and following this trend flexibility, that is deeply related to quick responses for changes in the environment, becomes a key element for CA Using survey data collected from 212 manufacturing companies in US, we investigate the importance of flexibility and Information Technology (IT) as major elements in achieving CA. We identify CA from performance measures related to market growth, market share and profitability. Flexibility is evaluated using manufacturing and product development perspectives, emphasizing changes in these two business functions. The study also looks at the relationship between the integration of Information Systems (IS) and introduction of Information Technology (IT), and key variables for CA The results support the hypothesis that flexibility is related to the measures of CA and show that IS/IT is primarily related to the service dimension.
Full text available only in PDF format.
Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.
The author grateful acknowledge professors Jay S. Kim from Boston University, US and Mark Frolich from the London School of Economics, UK for allowing him to access the data from the 1994 US Manufacturing Future Survey. The author would also like to thank the assistance from professors Lee Sproull from Boston University, US and Alain Villeneuve from University of Sherbrook, Canada for their comments and suggestions in a first version of this paper. Finally, the author would like to acknowledge the support received from the Brazilian Agency of Post-Graduate Studies - CAPES under the grant no 058-94-02
- Bagozzi, R. P. and L. W. Phillips (1982). "Representing and testing organizational theories: A holistic construal." Administrative Science Quarterly 27: 459-489.
- Cohen, M.S and Lee, H.L. (1989). Resource Deployment Analysis of Global Manufacturing and Distribution Networks. Journal of Manufacturing and Operations Management, Vol. 2 pp. 81-104.
- Dean, James W and Snell, Scott (1996) The strategic use of integrated manufacturing: An empirical examination, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 17, pg. 459-480
- DeMeyer, A., Nakane, J., Miller J., & Ferdows, K. 1989. Flexibility: The next competitive battle. Strategic Management Journal 10: 135-144.
- Ferdows, K. and de Meyer, A., (1990) "Lasting improvement in manufacturing", Journal of Operations Management Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 168-184.
- Gaedke, P. M. and D. H. Tootelian (1976) The fortune 500 list : An endangered species for academic research. Journal of Business Research, vol. 4, pg., 283-288
- Galbraith, J. (1973). Designing complex organizations Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
- Garvin, David. A. (1988). Managing quality : the strategic and competitive edge London : Collier Macmillan.
- Geoffrion, A.M. and Powers, R.F. (1995). Twenty Years of Strategic Distribution System Design: An Evolutionary Perspective. Interfaces. Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 105-127.
- Gerwin, Donald (1996) Manufacturing flexibility: A strategic perspective, Management Science, vol. 39, no 4, pg. 395-410
- Grant, Robert M; Shani, Rami; Krishnan, R (1994). TQM's challenge to management theory and practices. Sloan Management Review, vol. 35 pp. 25-35
- Gurbaxani, Vijay & Whang, Seungjin (1991). The impact of information systems on organizations and markets. CACM, vol. 34, no 1, pp. 502-527
- Harrigan, Kathryn R. (1985). Strategic Flexibility: a management guide for changing times Lexington, Mass : Lexington Books.
- Hayes, R.H. and Wheelwright, S.C., Restoring Our Competitive Edge, Collier Macmillan, New York, NY, 1984.
- Hayes, R. H., Wheelwright, S. C, & Clark, K. B. 1988. Dynamic manufacturing: Creating the learning organization New York: Free Press.
- Hill, T.J., Manufacturing Strategy: The Strategic Management of the Manufacturing Function 2nd ed., Macmillan, London, 1993
- Jick, T. (1979). "Mixing Qualitative and quantitative methods: Triangulation in action." Administrative Science Quarterly 24(December): 602-611.
- Keen, Peter. G. W (1988). Competing in time: Using telecommunications for competitive advantage Cambridge, Mass : Ballinger.
- Kendrick, J. W. (1985). Measurement of Output and Productivity in the Service Sector. Managing the Service Economy E. P. Inman. Cambridge, MA, University Press: 111-123.
- Kim, S. J. and Frohlich, M.T. (1994). The 1994 Manufacturing Futures International Fact Book Boston University, research report.
- Lovelock, C. H. (1983). "Classifying Services to Gain Strategic Insights." Journal of Marketing 47: 9-20.
- Millar, V. and Porter, M (1985). How information gives you competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 149-160.
- Miller, J.G. and Roth, A.V., (1994) "A taxonoour of manufacturing strategies", Management Science Vol. 40 No. 3, pg. 285.304.
- Monden, Y. (1983), Toyota Production System : Practical Approach to Production Management, Industrial Engineering and Management Press.
- Nunnally, J. C. 1978. Psychometric theory New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Powel, Thomas C. (1995). Total quality management as competitive advantage : a review and empirical study. Strategic Management Journal, vol. 16 pp. 15-37.
- Porter, Michael. E. (1985). Competitive advantage : Creating and sustaining superior performance New York : Free Press
- Schroeder, R. G., Anderson, J. C, & Cleveland, G. 1986. The content of manufacturing strategy: An empirical study. Journal of Manufacturing, 6: 405-415.
- Shingo, Shigeo (1988). The Toyota System : from an Industrial Engineering point of view Productivity Press, Mass
- Simmon, H. A. (1977) Administrative Behavior Mcmillan, New York
- Sethi A.K. and P.S. Sethi, (1990): " Flexibility in Manufacturing: A Survey " International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, vol. 2, pg. 289-328;
- Slack, N. (1983): "Flexibility as a Manufacturing Objective." International Journal of Production Management Vol. 3, no 3, pg. 4-13;
- Stalk, George (1988). Time: The next competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review, vol. 66 pp. 41-51.
- Suarez, Fernando F; Cusumano, Michael A; Fine, Charles H (1995) An empirical study of flexibility in manufacturing , Sloan Management Review, Vol. 37, No. 1 Pg. 25-32
- Tang, Victor. (1995). Competitive dominance : Beyond strategic advantage and total quality management New York : Van Nostrand Reinhold.
- Tushman, M. L., & Nadler, D. A. (1978). Information processing as an integrating concept in organizational design. Academy of Management Review. 3: 613-624.
- Upton, D.M., (1994) "The management of manufacturing flexibility", California Management Review, Vol. 36, No. 2 Pg. 72-89;
- Upton, D. M. 1995. What really makes factories flexible? Harvard Business Review 73(4): 74-84.
- Venkatraman, N. and J. H. Grant (1986). "Construct measurement in strategy research: A critique and proposal." Academy of Management Review 11: 71-86.
- Venkatraman, N. (1989). "Strategic orientation of business enterprises: The construct, dimensionality and measurement." Management Science 35(8): 942-962.
- Vesey, Joseph T. (1992). The new competitors : They think in terms of speed to market. Production & Inventory Management Journal, vol. 33 no 1, pp. 71-77.
- Youndt, Mark A; Snell, Scott A; Dean, James W Jr; Lepak, David P (1996) Human resource management, manufacturing strategy, and firm performance, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 4 Pg. 836-866
- Wemmerlov, U. (1990). "A Taxonomy for Service Processes and Its Implications for Systems Design." International Journal of Service Industry Management 1(3): 20-40.
- Wheelwright, S. C. 1981. Japan, where operations really are strategic. Harvard Business Review, 59(4): 67-74.
- Williamson, O. E. (1975) Markets and hierarchies, Free Press, NY
Publication in this collection
19 Oct 2010
Date of issue