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 case studies.


strategic consensus

manufacturing strategy


Nina Edh Mirzaei

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Anna M K Fredriksson

Linköping University

Mats Winroth

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

International Journal of Operations and Production Management

01443577 (ISSN) 17586593 (eISSN)

Vol. 36 4 429-466

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




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