Operations strategy processes and performance: insights from the contract apparel manufacturing industry
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the significance and dynamics of alternativeoperations strategy (OS) processes towards developing a more complete picture of the strategy process-context-performance nexus. The findings are based on the statistical analysis of empirical evidence drawn from the contract apparel manufacturing industry in a developing country.
Design/methodology/approach - Using a structured questionnaire and the key-informant approach data were collected from 109 contract apparel manufacturing firms in Sri Lanka. Cluster analysis was used to identify alternative configurations of strategy process modes.
Findings - The analyses confirmed that the existence of alternative forms of OS development is statistically significant and that the alternative configurations of strategy process modes tested can all lead to superior performance, under certain circumstances.
Research limitations/implications - The generalizability of these findings to other industry sectors within developing countries should be treated with caution, mainly due to the fact that the vast majority organizations selected for this study were subsidiaries of large international companies or comparable local counterparts. In order to better understand the linkages between OS and performance, data should be collected from multiple countries preferably using mixed-methods approaches.
Originality/value - The findings are expected to contribute to operations management theory as they corroborate, with statistical evidence, the findings of recent qualitative studies. The results also confirm the existence of OS processes in developing countries that are consistent with the conceptual understanding developed in the context of developed countries.