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Competing on Manufacturing How combinations of resources can be a source of competitive advantage

Nordström, Gunilla LU (2006)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

En central fråga av både teoretisk och praktisk betydelse är varför vissa företag är mer framgångsrika - vilket ofta uttrycks som att de har större konkurrensfördelar - än andra. Speciellt uppkommer frågan då vissa fabriker inom samma företag år efter år uppvisar ett bättre ekonomiskt resultat än andra. Fokus i denna avhandling är att förstå varför så sker inom ett utvalt företag i pappers- och förpackningsbranschen. Eftersom fabrikerna agerar på samma marknad söks förklaringen främst i fabriksinterna faktorer.



Förklaringen står främst att finna i hur den lokala fabriksledningen agerande, baserat på deras uppfattning om hur interna resurser bäst kan utnyttjas. Det är därmed in... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

En central fråga av både teoretisk och praktisk betydelse är varför vissa företag är mer framgångsrika - vilket ofta uttrycks som att de har större konkurrensfördelar - än andra. Speciellt uppkommer frågan då vissa fabriker inom samma företag år efter år uppvisar ett bättre ekonomiskt resultat än andra. Fokus i denna avhandling är att förstå varför så sker inom ett utvalt företag i pappers- och förpackningsbranschen. Eftersom fabrikerna agerar på samma marknad söks förklaringen främst i fabriksinterna faktorer.



Förklaringen står främst att finna i hur den lokala fabriksledningen agerande, baserat på deras uppfattning om hur interna resurser bäst kan utnyttjas. Det är därmed in tillräckligt för en ledning att ha tillgång på resurser, utan dessa måste utnyttjas på bästa sätt. I detta fall innebar dock bästa utnyttjandet inte nödvändigtvis största effektivitet eller lägsta kostnad vilket är en vanlig uppfattning inom tillverkningsindustrin, utan snarare på vilka sätt man inom fabriken kan skapa värde. Detta värde kan sen delas mellan kunder (genom att få sina behov uppfyllda till ett för dem rimligt pris) och fabriken (genom att sätta priser som tillåter en rimlig marginal). En förutsättning för att öka värdet anses här vara att de interna resurserna är väl koordinerade. Två koordinationsmekanismer har identifierats: 1) en avsiktlig strategi, t ex i form av en på förhand bestämd, ofta skriftlig, plan över hur fabriken ska konkurrera och utvecklas och 2) en orientering av fabriken som medger både ett internt produktionsfokus och ett kundfokus. Dessa koordinationsmekanismer tar lång tid och mycken ansträngning att implementera, vilket gör dem svåra att imitera för andra fabriker. (Less)
Abstract
The most central question in the strategic management literature is why some firms are more successful than others, often expressed as an aim to understand sources of competitive advantage. In this thesis, an empirical observation is made that a number of manufacturing plants belonging to the same firm show sustainable differences in financial success, and the question is why. The main theoretical perspective by which this is investigated is the Resource-Based View (RBV), where resources are seen as the source of competitive advantage. However, in order to achieve a manufacturing focus, RBV is cross-fertilized with the concepts of manufacturing capabilities found in the theory of Manufacturing Strategy.



Most research in... (More)
The most central question in the strategic management literature is why some firms are more successful than others, often expressed as an aim to understand sources of competitive advantage. In this thesis, an empirical observation is made that a number of manufacturing plants belonging to the same firm show sustainable differences in financial success, and the question is why. The main theoretical perspective by which this is investigated is the Resource-Based View (RBV), where resources are seen as the source of competitive advantage. However, in order to achieve a manufacturing focus, RBV is cross-fertilized with the concepts of manufacturing capabilities found in the theory of Manufacturing Strategy.



Most research in RBV focuses on how individual resources could be a source of competitive advantage, while the proposition of the present thesis is that a more meaningful unit of analysis ought to be combinations of resources. This view is elaborated on, and a framework is proposed for understanding how combinations of resources can be a source of competitive advantage in manufacturing.



The results illustrate the need for coordination of resources for them to be valuable. Coordination mechanisms proposed are 1) an intended strategy and 2) an orientation that allows both a production and a customer focus. Both coordination mechanisms are implemented by means of routines and communication. Such implementations require much time and effort, which is maintained to explain why it is hard to imitate a successful implementation of coordination mechanisms. These findings have some implications for managers, since the coordination mechanisms depend on their work. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Professor Allen, Peter, Complex Systems Management Centre, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
manufacturing, competitive advantage, manufacturing capabilities, strategic management, the Resource-Based View (RBV) combinations of resources, Social sciences, Samhällsvetenskaper
pages
352 pages
publisher
Institute of Economic Research
defense location
The Crafoord Hall, Holger Crafoords Ekonomicentrum, Tycho Brahes väg 1, Lund
defense date
2006-12-11 10:15
ISBN
91-85113-13-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8316c425-8f8b-425d-9638-d9257744ab6b (old id 25237)
date added to LUP
2007-06-05 10:01:40
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:11
@phdthesis{8316c425-8f8b-425d-9638-d9257744ab6b,
  abstract     = {The most central question in the strategic management literature is why some firms are more successful than others, often expressed as an aim to understand sources of competitive advantage. In this thesis, an empirical observation is made that a number of manufacturing plants belonging to the same firm show sustainable differences in financial success, and the question is why. The main theoretical perspective by which this is investigated is the Resource-Based View (RBV), where resources are seen as the source of competitive advantage. However, in order to achieve a manufacturing focus, RBV is cross-fertilized with the concepts of manufacturing capabilities found in the theory of Manufacturing Strategy.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Most research in RBV focuses on how individual resources could be a source of competitive advantage, while the proposition of the present thesis is that a more meaningful unit of analysis ought to be combinations of resources. This view is elaborated on, and a framework is proposed for understanding how combinations of resources can be a source of competitive advantage in manufacturing.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The results illustrate the need for coordination of resources for them to be valuable. Coordination mechanisms proposed are 1) an intended strategy and 2) an orientation that allows both a production and a customer focus. Both coordination mechanisms are implemented by means of routines and communication. Such implementations require much time and effort, which is maintained to explain why it is hard to imitate a successful implementation of coordination mechanisms. These findings have some implications for managers, since the coordination mechanisms depend on their work.},
  author       = {Nordström, Gunilla},
  isbn         = {91-85113-13-1},
  keyword      = {manufacturing,competitive advantage,manufacturing capabilities,strategic management,the Resource-Based View (RBV) combinations of resources,Social sciences,Samhällsvetenskaper},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {352},
  publisher    = {Institute of Economic Research},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Competing on Manufacturing How combinations of resources can be a source of competitive advantage},
  year         = {2006},
}