Core Manufacturing Competencies

  • Morgan Swink


A clear understanding of manufacturing competencies improves the formulation and implementation of manufacturing strategy for competitive advantage. Manufacturing competencies play three key roles in the formulation of strategy: (1) they clarify the differences between manufacturing means and manufacturing outcomes; (2) manufacturing competencies help maintain a strategic direction over time; and (3) they provide deeper insights for translating manufacturing policies into product attributes that produce competitive advantages. The following companies are discussed here: Allegheny Ludlum Corp; GM; Hitachi Seiki; John Crane Limited; Nummi; Toyota.


Core Competency Statistical Process Control Harvard Business Review California Management Review Manufacture Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adler, P.S. (1993). “Time-and-Motion Regained.” Harvard Business Review, January-February, 97–108.Google Scholar
  2. Chase, R.B.K., R. Kumar and W.E. Youngdahl (1992). “Service-Based Manufacturing: The Service Factory.” Production and Operations Management, 1 (2), 175–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Corbett, C. and L. Van Wassehnove (1993). “Trade-Offs? What Trade-Offs? Competence and Competitiveness in Manufacturing Strategy.” California Management Review, Summer, 107–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fine, C.H. and A.C. Hax (1985). “Manufacturing Strategy: A Methodology and an Illustration.” Interfaces, 15 (6), 28–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Garvin, D.A. (1993). “Manufacturing Strategic Planning.” California Management Review, Summer, 85–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gerwin, D. (1993). “Manufacturing Flexibility: A Strategic Perspective.” Management Science, 39 (4), 395–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gitlow, H., S. Gitlow, A. Oppenheim and R. Oppenheim (1989). Tools and Methods for the Improvement of Quality, Irwin: Homewood, IL.Google Scholar
  8. Hayes, R. (1990). “Hitachi Seiki (Abridged)”, Case No. 9-690-067, Harvard Business School, Boston: MA.Google Scholar
  9. Hayes, R. and G.P. Pisano (1994). “Beyond World Class: The New Manufacturing Strategy.” Harvard Business Review, January-February, 77–86.Google Scholar
  10. Hill, T. (1983) “Manufacturing’s Strategic Role.” Journal of the Operational Research Society, 34 (9), 853–860.Google Scholar
  11. Kim, Y. and J. Lee (1993). “Manufacturing Strategy and Production Systems: An Integrated Framework.” Journal of Operations Management, 11 (1), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kotha, S. and D. Orne (1989). “Generic Manufacturing Strategies: A Conceptual Synthesis.” Strategic Management Journal, 10 (3), 211–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. March, A. (1985). “Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation.” Case No. 9-686-087, Harvard Business School, Boston: MA.Google Scholar
  14. McGrath, R.G., M. Tsai, S. Venkataraman and I.C. MacMillan (1996). “Innovation, Competitive Advantage and Rent: A Model and Test.” Management Science, 42 (3), 389–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mintzberg, H. (1988). “Generic Strategies: Toward a Comprehensive Framework.” Advances in Strategic Management, 5, 1–67.Google Scholar
  16. Penrose, E. (1959). The Theory of the Growth of the Firm, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Porter, M.E. (1980). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Schroeder, R.G., J.C Anderson and G. Cleveland (1986). “The Content of Manufacturing Strategy: An Empirical Study.” Journal of Operations Management, 6 (3-4), 405–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schroeder, R.G., G.D Scudder and D.R. Elmm (1989). “Innovation in Manufacturing.” Journal of Operations Management, 8 (1), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Skinner, W. (1969). “Manufacturing—Missing Link in Corporate Strategy.” Harvard Business Review, 47 (May-June), 136–145.Google Scholar
  21. Skinner, W. (1992). “Missing the Links in Manufacturing Strategy.” in: C Voss (Ed)., Manufacturing Strategy: Process and Content, Chapman-Hall, London, 13–25.Google Scholar
  22. Stalk, G., P. Evans and L.E. Schulman (1992). “Competing on Capabilities: The New Rules of Corporate Strategy.” Harvard Business Review, March-April, 58–69.Google Scholar
  23. Swamidass, P.M. and W.T. Newell (1987). “Manufacturing Strategy, Environmental Uncertainty and Performance: A Path Analytic Model.” Management Science, 33 (4), 509–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Swink, M. and M. Way (1995). “Manufacturing Strategy: Propositions, Current Research, Renewed Directions.” International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 15 (7), 4–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Upton, D.M. (1994). “The Management of Manufacturing Flexibility.” California Management Review, Winter, 72–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wheelwright, SC. (1978). “Reflecting Corporate Strategy in Manufacturing Decisions.” Business Horizons, 21 (1), 57–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morgan Swink
    • 1
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityMichiganUSA

Personalised recommendations