Evolving forms of manufacturing strategy development: evidence and implications

Paul M. Swamidass, Neil Darlow, Tim Baines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper outlines, using evidence from several case studies, the use of alternative forms of manufacturing strategy processes. Our investigation shows that the manufacturing strategy development practices of manufacturers are evolving in many directions; we found several alternatives to the formal top-down planning process. Manufacturers use one or more of the following alternatives with or without the top-down manufacturing strategy process: a coherent pattern of actions; manufacturing/process improvement programs; or the pursuit of core manufacturing capabilities. It appears that the various manufacturing strategy development processes may be tied to the strategic role of manufacturing in a company. This paper offers a framework that captures the relationship between the strategic role of manufacturing and the process of manufacturing strategy development. An in-depth case from a UK company illustrates the evolving forms of manufacturing strategy development processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1304
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=849367. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • case studies
  • core competences
  • improvement
  • manufacturing strategy


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