Generic manufacturing strategies: An empirical test of two configurational typologies

Sarv Devaraj, David G. Hollingworth, Roger G. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The need to empirically test and validate typologies and frameworks that are derived deductively has been echoed repeatedly in the operations management literature. This paper reports on an empirical comparison of two configuration-based typologies: the Product-process matrix and the more recent generic manufacturing strategies model. Since there is substantial conceptual overlap between these models, a simultaneous examination provides insights about both models, and in particular, about the value-added of the generic manufacturing strategies model. We examine hypotheses derived from these typologies using data from manufacturing plants in the United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany; and from the automotive, machinery, and electronics industries. The data were analyzed using multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) and hierarchical regression techniques. Our results indicate support for the Product-process matrix - lending further strength to a growing base of empirical research on this model. Our findings also provide support for the generic manufacturing strategies model with respect to various measures of cost, cycle time/inventory, quality, and innovation performance. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the generic manufacturing strategies model is a useful augmentation to the Product-process matrix. These findings suggest that the generic manufacturing strategy model has merit but deserves further empirical and theoretical attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-452
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Operation strategy
  • Process design


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