Strategic consensus on manufacturing strategy content: including the operators' perceptions
Journal article, 2016
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