Conceptualizing operations strategy processes

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2007

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present insights into operations strategy (OS) in practice. It outlines a conceptualization and model of OS processes and, based on findings from an in-depth and longitudinal case study, contributes to further development of extant OS models and methods which presently mainly focus on OS content, as distinct from process issues. DesignImethodology/approach - The methodology combines action research and a longitudinal single site case study of OS processes in practice. Findings - The paper conceptualises an OS process as: events of dialogue and action; taking place in five dimensions of change - technical-rational, cultural, political, project management, and facilitation; and typically unfolding as a sequential and parallel, ordered and disordered, planned and emergent as well as top-down and bottom-up process. The proposed OS conceptualization provides a useful tool for describing and analyzing real-time OS processes unfolding in practice. Research limitations/implications - The research is based on a single case, which limits the generalizability of the findings. Practical implications - The findings suggest that, in order to obtain successful outcomes for an OS process in practice, change agents may need to moderate their outcome ambitions, manage process dimensions and agendas in a situational manner, balance inherent process paradoxes, strive at bridging both language and reality, as well as mobilizing key stakeholders, especially middle managers, throughout the process. Originality/value - The paper proposes a novel conceptualization of the OS process derived from the literature in relevant areas and findings obtained through longitudinal action research of an OS formulation and implementation process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Operations & Production Management
Issue number9-10
Pages (from-to)1093-1114
StatePublished - 2007
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 25


  • action research, operations management, organizational change
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ID: 3687276