Title: Manufacturing flexibility improvement and resource-based view: cases of automotive firms

Authors: Wuttigrai Ngamsirijit

Addresses: National Institute of Development Administration, 118 Sereethai Road, Bangkapi, Bangkok, 10240, Thailand

Abstract: To deal with dynamic and uncertain business environments, agile manufacturing is of interest to academics and practitioners. However, in order to achieve agile manufacturing, one of its dimensions is of major importance – manufacturing flexibility. Most firms acknowledge how flexibility can be improved but few can successfully implement it to its full potential. This paper investigates important issues associated with the degree of manufacturing flexibility performance and develops a comprehensive framework based on resource-based view (RBV) for successfully implementing flexibility. A case study methodology is used. It can extract more information about the experiences of companies in the planning, implementation and operations of manufacturing flexibility. The manufacturing flexibility issues in five automotive companies in Thailand were investigated and qualitatively analysed. The resources and capabilities contributing to successful manufacturing flexibility are derived. They consist of the extents of resource redundancy, the abilities of production planning and control, degree of buyer-supplier coordination, and effectiveness of technology and organisation support.

Keywords: manufacturing flexibility; RBV; resource-based view; flexibility improvement; automotive products; automobile industry; dynamic environments; uncertain environments; business environments; agile manufacturing; flexibility performance; Thailand; resources; capabilities; resource redundancy; production planning; production control; buyer-supplier coordination; technological support; organisational support; agile systems; agile management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2011.043130

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2011 Vol.4 No.4, pp.319 - 341

Received: 22 Aug 2010
Accepted: 14 Mar 2011

Published online: 17 Oct 2011 *

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