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  • 1.
    Edh Mirzaei, Nina
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Communication's role for strategic consensus in formation of manufacturing strategy2015In: Proceedings for the 22nd International Annual EurOMA Conference, Operations management for sustainable competitiveness, 26 June - 1 July 2015, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper identifies the means of communication in a shop floor context and how these influence the workers’ perceptions of MS priorities. 28 interviews with workers and managers at four metal working SMEs in Sweden showed that there are significant similarities among the companies in relation to all communication elements and that the main communication channel is shop floor meetings. However, significant for all four companies is the lack of a strategic perspectives in the message content. This paper contributes to the management of the worker-manager relationship in relation to MS formation and the role communication plays for strategic consensus.

  • 2.
    Edh Mirzaei, Nina
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Involving individuals in the manufacturing strategy formation: Strategic consensus among workers and managers2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Decisions made and actions taken by individuals in the operations function impact the formation of a company’s manufacturing strategy (MS). Therefore, it is important that the MS is understood and agreed on by all employees, that is, strategic consensus among the individuals in the operations function is essential. This research contributes to the current body of knowledge by including a workers’ perspective on MS formation. It is the workers on the shop floor who bring the MS to life in the actual operations through their daily decisions and actions. The MS falls short if the priorities outlined do not materialise in practice as intended. The purpose of this research is to investigate how the individuals in the operations function perceive the MS in order to understand how these individuals are involved in the MS formation. The research is based on five studies, differing by evidence, as follows: one theoretical, three qualitative in the setting of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and one quantitative at a large company. Based on the findings presented in the six appended papers, the results show that empirically and conceptually, workers have been overlooked or given a passive role in the MS formation. Empirically, it is seen that workers and managers do not have a shared understanding of the underlying reasons for strategic priorities; hence, the level of strategic consensus is low. Furthermore, the level of strategic consensus varies among the different MS dimensions depending on their organisational level. Moreover, the empirical findings reveal that internal contextual factors influence the individuals’ perceptions of the MS and the possibilities for strategic consensus. Regarding the external context, the results show that major customers’ strategies influence the subcontractor SMEs’ MS formation. The usage of means of communication in the operations function has also shown to be of importance for how the MS is perceived. Conceptually, the findings indicate that the MS literature tends to treat individuals in the operations function in a deterministic manner; individuals on the shop floor are regarded as manufacturing resources. To ensure a successful MS formation process, where the patterns of the decisions made by the individuals in the operations function forms the MS, the view on human nature within the MS requires a more voluntaristic approach. This research suggests to view the MS formation as an iterative “patterning process” which builds on a reciprocal relationship between workers and managers. The introduction of the patterning process contributes to the research on MS formation by explaining the perception range within the hierarchical levels, by re-defining the hierarchical levels included in the MS formation and by detailing the activities in the MS formation.

  • 3.
    Edh Mirzaei, Nina
    et al.
    Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Fredriksson, Anna
    Department of Science and Technology, Linköping University, Sweden.
    Winroth, Mats
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production. Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Strategic consensus on manufacturing strategy content: Including the operators’ perceptions2016In: International Journal of Operations & Production Management, ISSN 0144-3577, E-ISSN 1758-6593, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 429-466Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Strategic consensus between operators and managers is an important means to accomplish a successful manufacturing strategy (MS) process. Previous studies largely left out individual operators from this concept. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to empirically examine the level of strategic consensus on the MS within the operations function, that is, the operators’ and managers’ perceptions of MS.

    Design/methodology/approach – Interviews were conducted with both operators and managers at three small and medium-sized enterprises in Sweden. The MS dimensions were selected based on previous research; the data was analysed by using thematic coding.

    Findings – The study shows that the levels of strategic consensus on the MS vary among companies. Even when strategic consensus exists between operators and managers, their underlying reasons often differ. Furthermore, the levels of strategic consensus vary among MS dimensions. The companies’ usage of information-sharing channels, along with their size and position in the supply chain, can be important for the level of strategic consensus.

    Originality/value – This paper contributes to the body of knowledge in three ways. First, it expands the scope of the MS dimensions under study, thus offering a stronger, resource-based perspective on MS and strategic consensus than what earlier studies showed. Second, it goes beyond the management level by including both managers and operators as the unit of analysis. Third, compared to previous research, it focuses on a new context and is based on indepth case studies.

  • 4.
    Edh Mirzaei, Nina
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Halldorsson, Arni
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Employee flexibility in operations in the era of digitalisation: Implications for social sustainability2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper provides a perspective on why employee flexibility is critical to manufacturing in the changing industrial landscape, how this links to efforts of digitalisation and automation in operations, and what opportunities and constraints this may have for achieving social sustainability. First, employee flexibility should be regarded at both horisontal and vertical dimensions. Second, responding to digitalisation of manufacturing requires both horisontal and vertical type of employee flexibility. Third, digitalization should relate more firmly employee flexibility, and too even greater extent to social sustainability. Employee flexibility can bridge the gap between digitalisation and social responsibility.

  • 5.
    Edh Mirzaei, Nina
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Lantz, Björn
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Strategic consensus on manufacturing strategy: operators’ and managers’ perceptions2015In: Proceedings for the 22nd International Annual EurOMA Conference, Operations management for sustainable competitiveness, 26 June - 1 July 2015, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper joins the discussion on the need for trade-offs among competitive priorities in manufacturing strategy (MS) and builds on earlier works on strategic consensus on MS by addressing the purpose to examine the level of strategic consensus between different organisational levels regarding the competitive priorities quality, delivery, flexibility and cost. Survey data from 96 employees at one Swedish assembly plant show that the employees rank the priorities significantly different. Further, white collar workers rank six of the 16 studied competitive priority abilities significantly higher than blue collar workers do.

  • 6.
    Edh Mirzaei, Nina
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Wlazlak, Paraskeva
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Sansone, Cinzia
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Hilletofth, Per
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Challenges with competitive manufacturing in high cost environment2016In: Proceedings of the 23rd International Annual EurOMA Conference, Trondheim, Norway, International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Edh, Nina
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    The people dimension in manufacturing strategy: operators and managers2013Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The manufacturing strategy (MS) field has largely focused on the MS content, and not so much on the people dimension of MS or on the process of bringing the MS out in organizations. Within companies, there is often a lack of a joint view of MS; different hierarchical levels view the strategy differently. There is a need to ensure a joint view within companies to assure strategic commitment. The MS falls short if the ideas it incorporates do not materialize into practice as intended. Therefore, this research originated in the idea that the people in manufacturing companies seldom have their voices heard in strategic discussions or in academic debate. In this thesis, individuals’ perceptions of MS are the focus. Hence, the purpose is to investigate operators’ and managers’ perceptions of MS in order to understand possibilities for a joint view of MS. This research was conducted through three studies. Two empirical studies collected data through interviews with operators and managers at Swedish metalworking small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The third study was theoretical and included a literature review where MS literature was analyzed from a behavioral operations (BO) perspective. The findings show that the people dimension in MS is not well developed. Theoretically, a gap exists between the view on people adopted in the BO field and the view on people in the MS literature. In the MS literature there are indicators of a deterministic view of human nature; individuals on the shop floor are viewed as manufacturing resources. Empirically, the findings show that operators’ and managers’ perceptions of MS are affected by many factors. These factors are, e.g., related to intra- versus inter-organizational MS dimensions, the operators as individuals, communication of MS, differences between CEOs and production managers, shift work, and mental distances between hierarchical levels. This research contributes to the work with MS at manufacturing companies by categorizing factors that influence movement towards a joint view of MS. Further, this research contributes to a developed people dimension within the MS field. It offers a viewpoint that indicates the importance of addressing operators and managers as individuals and to viewing the connection between operators and managers a bilateral relationship rather than as a unilateral link. This implies that this thesis strives for a more subjectivist approach to human nature than what traditionally has been the case in MS literature.

  • 8.
    Edh, Nina
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Fredriksson, Anna
    The people dimension in manufacturing strategy: contextual factors influencing a joint view2014In: Proceedings for the 21th International Annual EurOMA Conference, Operations Management in an Innovation Economy, 20-25 June 2014, Palermo, Italy, International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explicates the contextual factors influencing the workers’ perceptions of the MS, and hence, the possibilities for a joint view between workers and managers. The paper is based on in depth interviews with 16 workers in four metal working SMEs in Sweden. The contextual factors can be viewed at two levels: individual and organisational. This paper contributes to richer descriptions of what the individual and organisational contextual factors incorporate, and to the clarification of the important role communication channels plays for the possibilities of a joint view. Thereby, contributing to increased knowledge on the manufacturing strategy formation process.

  • 9.
    Edh, Nina
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Halldorsson, Arni
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation.
    Manufacturing strategy in a behavioral operations perspective: The people dimension2013In: Proceedings for the 20th International Annual EurOMA Conference, Operations Management at the Heart of the Recovery, 7-12 June 2013, Dublin, Ireland, International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Edh, Nina
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Winroth, Mats
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Säfsten, Kristina
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Organizational comprehension of manufacturing strategy - A case study of a SMME2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Jagstedt, Siri
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    Edh Mirzaei, Nina
    Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Operations Management.
    The missing link between local and global best practices within manufacturing2015In: Proceedings for the 22nd International Annual EurOMA Conference, Operations management for sustainable competitiveness, 26 June - 1 July 2015, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper takes a knowledge-based view on operations strategy and investigate how local best practices (LBPs) are used as contributors for identification and evaluation of a manufacturing global best practice (GBP). Semi-structured interviews with 14 respondents at seven multinational companies concluded that LBPs and GBPs are transferred by different mechanisms. LBPs are rarely used as contributors to GBPs but rather stay internal among local sites. GBPs more often concern development of systems and frameworks and are thereby less concerned with context. The importance of including local knowledge and practices and use existing internal resources to reach competitive advantages are emphasised.

  • 12.
    Sollander, Kristina
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Edh Mirzaei, Nina
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Contextualising ambidexterity in small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises2018Conference paper (Refereed)
1 - 12 of 12
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