Title: The dissemination of operational capabilities in manufacturing networks: a coevolutionary perspective

Authors: Cristiane Biazzin; Ely Laureano Paiva; Kenyth Freitas

Addresses: Haile College of Business, Northern Kentucky University, Louie B. Nunn Dr., Highland Heights, KY 41099, USA ' Department of Operations Management, São Paulo Business School, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rua Itapeva, 474, São Paulo, Brazil ' Department of Operations Management, São Paulo Business School, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rua Itapeva, 474, São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract: Although scholars have agreed on the relevance of capabilities to operations strategy and the competitive advantage of firms, the process by which they are disseminated among networks remains mostly unexplored. Since operational capabilities are difficult to imitate or acquire, manufacturing networks represent a favorable environment for the exchange of experiences, knowledge and the speeding up of the process of capability development. Based on the co-evolutionary theoretical perspective, this research aims to understand how operational capabilities are disseminated between headquarters and the plants in manufacturing networks. The study used multiple case studies to explore four organizations in three different industries. The findings demonstrate a possible relationship between the manufacturing stages proposed by Wheelwright and Hayes (1985) and the Co-evolutionary Theory. The co-evolution of manufacturing units and the dissemination of capabilities is a gradual process, comprises cumulative motivational factors, and involves actors from different dimensions that absorb these capabilities at different speeds.

Keywords: operational capabilities; dissemination; manufacturing networks; subsidiary; headquarters; coevolutionary theory; manufacturing stages; case study; efficiency; complexity; maturity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAOM.2022.10047226

International Journal of Advanced Operations Management, 2022 Vol.14 No.1, pp.31 - 55

Received: 05 Jun 2020
Accepted: 24 May 2021

Published online: 05 May 2022 *

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