Analysis of an improvement programme for MMEs
Journal article, 2015
Purpose: Intervention programmes can potentially aid medium-sized manufacturing companies (MMEs) in improvement work that they otherwise would not undertake. The purpose of this paper is to identify intervention programme functions that support MMEs in the adoption of operations improvements.
Design/methodology/approach: Empirical material on one programme, Production Leap, was mainly collected through 11 interviews and an internal-to-the-programme two-day workshop. This material was arranged to describe the programme’s design, and subsequently compared with a theoretical framework based on the literature on operations improvements and interventions.
Findings: The interventions were divided into phases focusing on management and employees, each of which is seen as key to planning and commitment. Collaborations with labour unions and trade organisations were found to be important for gaining trust among employees and companies.
Research implications: Earlier research has identified critical factors for interventions in companies, which this paper groups into governance, involvement, and change agent approach. This paper demonstrates how a programme may or may not operationalise such factors, as well as identifies further factors.
Practical implications: Practitioners and policy makers may use these findings in the design of support for MMEs, including further improvement programmes.
Originality/value: Earlier studies on programmes have examined individual companies, while this paper analyses how a programme may be designed to aid MMEs in the adoption of systematic operations improvements.