Can organizations make simultaneous improvements in cost, quality, flexibility?

Business & Finance
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

Can organizations make simultaneous improvements in cost, quality, flexibility, and delivery and  avoid trade-offs? Why do feel this way?

Oct 15th, 2014

An ongoing, important question in the operations strategy literature pertains to tradeoffs: Can manufacturers focus on multiple priorities simultaneously or achieve strength on multiple capabilities without sacrificing performance of another? In this paper, we accumulate, integrate, and examine the wide spectrum of conclusions reached in the literature concerning tradeoffs using modified meta-analysis methods. Based on two decades of empirical research in operations strategy, we find that the evidence in the literature indicates manufacturers, on average, do not report experiencing tradeoffs among the competitive dimensions of quality, delivery, flexibility, and cost as suggested by the classical tradeoffs model. Our meta-analysis also reveals that the way variables are operationalized, whether initiatives are implemented, and the unit of analysis are all related to the degree and nature of the evidence a paper contains with respect to the tradeoffs issue. We interpret our meta-analysis results in the context of the prevailing model of manufacturing strategy and the theory of performance frontiers. We also discuss how the research designs used in this literature, which are predominantly cross-sectional, affect the nature of the evidence generated and the conclusions that can be drawn

http://goizueta.emory.edu/profiles/documents/publications_working_papers/rosenzweig/Tradeoffs%20in%20manufacturing.pdf

Oct 15th, 2014

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