Improving Productivity through Strategic Alignment of Competitive Capabilities

Hutton, Steven and Eldridge, Stephen (2019) Improving Productivity through Strategic Alignment of Competitive Capabilities. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 68 (3). pp. 644-668. ISSN 1741-0401

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the productivity performance at the firm level from the perspective of manufacturing capability development at the process level. Moreover, it reveals how alignment of manufacturing capabilities with market requirements has influenced a firm’s productivity over a period that includes the 2008 global recession. Design/methodology/approach A conceptual framework was derived from established theories and employed as part of a case study design encompassing a multiple methods research approach. The case of a UK SME was selected to reflect some of the issues associated with the wider productivity stagnation experienced by the UK economy in recent years. Findings The firm’s manufacturing strategy had become incrementally misaligned with market requirements due to external changes in its business environment. The complex relationships between capabilities such as quality, speed and cost were characterised. Realigning the firm’s manufacturing strategy to regain productivity performance required a range of prioritised actions including capital investment and changes in management practices concerning bottom-up process improvement and regular, top-down strategy review. Research limitations/implications The findings of the case study cannot be generalised and the outcomes are specific to just one firm. However, the approach lends itself to replication, particularly within SMEs. Originality/value Prior studies have focussed on capability development at higher levels of abstraction. The study operationalized established theoretical perspectives at the firm level to derive context-based outcomes that can be used to improve manufacturing strategy alignment and productivity. Furthermore, the study contributes empirical evidence from the SME sector to the ongoing debate regarding the UK’s productivity puzzle.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management
Additional Information:
This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. 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.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? case studiesstrategic alignmentcompetitive capabilitiescumulative capabilitiestrade-off modeluk productivity puzzlebusiness, management and accounting(all)strategy and management ??
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Deposited On:
18 Oct 2018 10:10
Last Modified:
28 Jun 2024 01:10