Is anybody listening? An investigation into popular advice and actual practices

G. Vastag, D. Clay Whybark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the decade of the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, management gurus and consultants alike were touting the advantages of speed over quality and were suggesting other initiatives. Early in this period the global manufacturing research group gathered data on manufacturing practices and performance in non-fashion textile and small machine tool firms. In 1995, follow-up data were gathered from some of the same firms. Data from these surveys are used to determine the extent to which firms exceeded the growth of the economy or the industry. The data are also used to see whether the implementation of manufacturing practices followed the theories elaborated during this period and where firms learn of the practices that show promise of improving performance. Recent case studies of three firms are used to provide insight into the aggregate findings of the surveys. We find that firms do not learn from the management literature, consultants or academics, but use business and trade contacts as their sources. We also find support for the theory that implementing a number of practices will help to provide competitive advantage and that new means of transferring management technology are needed if we are to reach the firms that can benefit from its application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-128
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Volume81-82
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 11 2003

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Machine tools
Industry
Textiles
Manufacturing
Management of technology
Consultants
Competitive advantage
Global manufacturing
Machine tool
Management consultants
Management gurus

Keywords

  • Manufacturing practices and performance
  • Manufacturing theory
  • Sandcone model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

Is anybody listening? An investigation into popular advice and actual practices. / Vastag, G.; Whybark, D. Clay.

In: International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 81-82, 11.01.2003, p. 115-128.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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