The role of infrastructure practices in the effectiveness of JIT practices: Implications for plant competitiveness

Sohel Ahmad, Roger G. Schroeder, Kingshuk K. Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research on JIT provides very little insight as to why the same JIT practices are able to foster competitiveness in one plant but fail to do the same in another plant. The premise of this research is that such failures are due to a lack of managerial concern regarding infrastructure practices needed for JIT. The current JIT literature on infrastructure design is largely prescriptive, but the prescriptions are not founded on systematic empirical investigation. In this paper, we examine the role of infrastructure practices in the effectiveness of JIT practices from three perspectives - universal, contingency, and configurational - with data from a study sample of 110 plants. The plants in the study sample belong to three industries - electronics, machinery, and transportation - and are located in three countries - US, Italy, and Japan. Our results support the contingency and the configurational perspectives. Specifically, the analyses based on the contingency perspective indicate that with the exception of manufacturing strategy, all other infrastructure practices - quality management, product technology, work integration system, and human resource management (HRM) policies - individually moderate the relationship between JIT practices and plant competitiveness. The analyses based on the configurational perspective indicate that synergy between JIT practices and infrastructure practices needs to be exploited to attain superior plant competitiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-191
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Engineering and Technology Management - JET-M
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003

Keywords

  • Integrated competitive strategy
  • Just-in-time
  • Manufacturing strategy
  • Plant competitiveness
  • Quality management

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