Title: Manufacturing strategies in different environments: does equifinality or a dominant strategy exist?

Authors: Shaohan Cai

Addresses: Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, 710 Dunton Tower, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada

Abstract: This study addresses two essential issues related to equifinality: (1) whether firms can choose different but equally effective manufacturing strategies for different environments (equifinality) and (2) whether there is one strategy adopted by more firms than others (dominant strategy) in each individual environment. With data collected from 434 Chinese manufacturing companies, this study identifies a four-cluster taxonomy of business environments (harsh, labour munificent, stable and low-cost) and a four-cluster taxonomy of manufacturing strategies (mass servers, marketeers, manufacturing emphasisers and low emphasisers). The analyses show that dynamism and munificence exert joint effects on equifinality and the existence of a dominant strategy.

Keywords: China; equifinality; manufacturing strategy; taxonomy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2017.10004605

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2017 Vol.16 No.3, pp.243 - 273

Received: 15 Nov 2016
Accepted: 23 Nov 2016

Published online: 17 Apr 2017 *

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