Factors Affecting the Strategic Role of Manufacturing: A Conceptual Framework Based on Hayes and Wheelwright Four Stage Model

International Journal of Applied Operations Management (ISSN: 1744-8182) Volume 1 Issue 2

Dr. Ahmed N. Al-Rasby
Sultan Qaboos University
College of Commerce & Economics
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman


The four-stage model was proposed by Hayes and Wheelwright (1984). It has achieved widespread acceptance, however there is little research that has examined the underlying factors of the model. This paper attempts to identify these factors, and how are they are interrelated.

Five factors were identified that affect the strategic role of manufacturing. They are the attitude of top managers towards manufacturing, the involvement of manufacturing managers in setting the strategic direction of the firm, formulating manufacturing strategy, manufacturing proactiveness and co-ordination between manufacturing and other functions

The five factors affect the strategic role of manufacturing both directly or indirectly, however the two key factors are the attitude of top managers towards manufacturing and the involvement of manufacturing managers in setting the strategic direction of the firm. They enable the other three factors to influence strategic role of manufacturing.

Future research is required to test whether the factors adequately cover the domain of all possible effects of manufacturing effectiveness. Additionally, In order to verify if factors should be combined, future research could test the factors for construct validities. Further research is also needed to test the framework empirically by finding indicators that operationalise the factors.

Keywords: manufacturing strategy, strategic role of manufacturing strategy, manufacturing proactiveness, manufacturing effectiveness, manufacturing managers, unobservable variables and causal relationships, Hayes and Wheelwright’s four stage model.

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