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Strategically Flexible Production: The Multi-focused Manufacturing Paradigm. A Review and Outlook

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Abstract

In the Nineties companies were experiencing a number of different strategic and organizational models in running their manufacturing activities to overcome the limitations of the Fordist paradigm in the face of growing complexity and turbulence of the environment. Despite the differences, it was possible at that time to recognize few guiding principles that were common to the most advanced and effective models. In particular, the original paper summarized these principles in three: i) Multi-focusedness and strategic flexibility; ii) Process Integration; and iii) Process Ownership. This approach was called the Strategically Flexible Production. Using data from the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey, the authors were able to show the wide adoption of the paradigm across the sample and across all regions. It also tested the impact of the new paradigm on operational performance, showing better results obtained by those companies that fully adopted the paradigm compared to partial or non-adopters. The commentary underlines that after twenty years the value of this paper resides first of all in having challenged the established paradigms of manufacturing strategy at that time. Also, the paper was among the first ones to underline the value and importance of strategic flexibility and multi-focusedness for manufacturing companies. On both these aspects the paper has been an important platform for future work and for the evolution of the field.

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Voss, C.A. (2016). Strategically Flexible Production: The Multi-focused Manufacturing Paradigm. A Review and Outlook. In: Bartezzaghi, E., Cagliano, R., Caniato, F., Ronchi, S. (eds) A Journey through Manufacturing and Supply Chain Strategy Research. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31104-3_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31104-3_3

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-31103-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-31104-3

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