Leveraging power of learning capability upon manufacturing operations
Huang, Tsu-te (Andrew), Chen, Le, Stewart, Rodney A. , & Panuwatwanich, Kriengsak (2013) Leveraging power of learning capability upon manufacturing operations. International Journal of Production Economics, 145(1), pp. 233-252.
Learning capability (LC) is a special dynamic capability that a firm purposefully builds to develop a cognitive focus, so as to enable the configuration and improvement of other capabilities (both dynamic and operational) to create and respond to market changes. Empirical evidence regarding the essential role of LC in leveraging operational manufacturing capabilities is, however, limited in the literature. This study takes a routine-based approach to understand capability, and focuses on demonstrating leveraging power of LC upon two essential operational capabilities within the manufacturing context, i.e., operational new product development capability (ONPDC), and operational supplier integration capability (OSIC). A mixed-methods research framework was used, which combines sources of evidence derived from a survey study and a multiple case study. This study identified high-level routines of LC that can be designed and controlled by managers and practitioners, to reconfigure underlying routines of ONPDC and OSIC to achieve superior performance in a turbulent environment. Hence, the study advances the notion of knowledge-based dynamic capabilities, such as LC, as routine bundles. It also provides an impetus for managing manufacturing operations from a capability-based perspective in the fast changing knowledge era.
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