Configurations in manufacturing planning and control (MPC) systems : manufacturing environment perspective
The quest for a viable manufacturing planning and control (MPQ system that supports organizational strategy is a crucial issue in operations management. Previous studies on MPC discipline have paid little attention on the basic performance differences that associated with strategic and organization environmental issues. This thesis addresses these issues by exploring the configurations in MPC systems in a macro perspective that integrates several areas, namely: organizational environment, competitive strategy, manufacturing strategy, supply chains, NIPC system and organizational performance. This thesis attempts to shift the conventional research focus of NTC processes and mechanisms to enviromnent-strategy-system-performance (E-S-S-P) paradigm. In this respect, the configurational research in WC systems requires the study of a wider body of knowledge (Chapters 2- 5) including: (1) a detailed assessmenot f the current state-of-the art of MPC practices; (2) the review of the relations between strategies and MPC systems; (3) a study of organization environmental variables and their influences; and (4) an identification of methodological issues relating to configuration research. Thirty hypothesized relationships are proposed (Chapter 6) and tested (Chapters 8 and 9). The research methodology has been concentrated in three distinctive areas. The first area is in the design of instruments (Chapter 7) for the measurement of manufacturing environments, competitive strategy, manufacturing strategy, and MPC systems in several manufacturing industries. Five databases are gathered to test the hypotheses, i.e. trade census and industrial production statistics, published business data, published survey data (for content analysis), data from field visits, and questionnaire survey data. The second area is the construction of a 3-dimensional organization environment (Chapter 7). Besides, a reference model is proposed that takes into account of the theory of autopoiesis and enacted environment, based on several field visits (Chapter 8). The third area is the study of correlations between the organizational environment, competitive strategy, manufacturing strategy, and NIPC systems (Chapter 9). The quantitative analyses are used such as Pearson correlation, linear regression, and causal modeling. There are seven main contributions of this thesis: (1) It is the first study of the configurations in NTC systems that will have significant theoretical implications for the development of NTC practices. (2) It develops the network relationships of E-S-S-P research paradigm. (3) It broadens the knowledge in operations management by exploring the hypothesized relations between organizational environment, strategies, supply chains and MPC systems. (4) It shows the adoption of new thinking, i. e. the theory of autopoiesis, in the configuration study. (5) It develops a reference MPC model that adds to the body of knowledge in this discipline. (6) It constructs the task environment classification framework for the study related to manufacturing environment in Hong Kong. (7) It proposes path modelling analysis to explore the causal relationships of WC system and other organizational variables, which is rarely applied in this field.