Strategic, structural contingency and institutional explanations in the adoption of innovative manufacturing practices

Mikko A. Ketokivi, Roger G. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Scopus citations

Abstract

The main argument in this paper is that in order to understand the phenomenon of how innovative manufacturing practices diffuse we need to invoke theoretical arguments other than the ones that are conventionally used. In particular, neo-institutional arguments can shed light on the determinants of manufacturing practice adoption and implementation. We juxtapose both theoretically and empirically three different theoretical perspectives that can be used to address the phenomenon: strategic contingency, structural contingency and neo-institutional arguments. A preliminary empirical test of the three competing perspectives is tested in a sample of 164 manufacturing plants. We find that the institutional perspective explains much more of the variance in the practices adopted and implemented by the plants than either the structural contingency or the strategic contingency theories. This motivates future research using some of the less familiar theoretical approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-89
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004

Keywords

  • Contingency theory
  • Institutional theory
  • Manufacturing practices
  • Manufacturing strategy

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