Designing a company-specific Production System : Developing an appropriate operating approach
To boost operational performance and ultimately competitiveness, firms choose to develop company-specific Production Systems (XPS). Developing such production systems the management literature suggests that a XPS must be tailored to the firm operating context to yield full effect. This explorative case study examines how to design a XPS that provides an appropriate operating approach. Clarifying terminological confusion, the study proposes a XPS framework derived from the literature that encompasses three levels of operating elements - philosophical, principle, and practice. Investigating how to prioritize among these elements the study empirically validate the importance of tailoring firm operating approaches. In particular, categorizing practices as technical or socio-technical, and internal or external, the study contradicts existing research and posit that (1) socio-technical practices are a prerequisite for the adoption of technical practices and (2), practice classified as internal also have an external dimension. In addition, the results indicate that a XPS must evolve as contextual requirements and prerequisites change – thus making the design of a XPS dynamic. Finally, this study proposes a case-specific production system, tailored to the requirements of the research objects market-, organizational- and process context.
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