Title: Generic trade-offs and responses: an operations strategy analysis

Authors: Nigel Slack

Addresses: Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

Abstract: Trade-off analysis is presented as a useful approach not only to conceptualising the process of operations performance improvement, but also to explain why certain trade-offs are chosen by companies. Two case studies are presented and subjected to similar analyses. The purpose of the paper is to identify three ||generic|| types of trade-off which need to be addressed by operations managers. Managers can then focus on the actions required to overcome these three types of trade-off over time. Furthermore, it will frame these improvement activities in terms of enhancing various aspects of operational flexibility. This is not a new idea. Previous studies have put forward flexibility as a key aspect of the ||pivot|| of any trade-off. Finally, the paper will discuss how organisations choose which trade-offs to tackle by examining the nature of the trade-offs themselves

Keywords: operations strategy; trade-off; performance improvement; flexibility.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.1998.004542

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 1998 Vol.1 No.1, pp.13 - 27

Published online: 13 May 2004 *

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