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On the integration of manufacturing strategy: Deconstructing Hoshin Kanri

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/11/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Management Research Review
Number of pages15
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date22/11/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract


Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to show that Hoshin Kanri has the potential to integrate the operations strategy literature into a coherent structure. Hoshin Kanri’s planning process is typically described as a top-down cascading of goals, starting with the senior management’s goals and moving to the lowest organizational level. The authors argue that this misrepresents a firm’s actual cognitive processes in practice because it implies reasoning from the effects to the cause, and assumes a direct causal relationship between what the customer wants and what is realizable by the system.

Design/methodology/approach
This study is conceptual, based on abductive reasoning and the literature.

Findings
The actual strategic thought process executed in an organization consists of three iterative processes: (i) a translation process that derives the desired customer attributes from customer/stakeholder data, (ii) a process of causal inference that predicts realizable customer attributes from a possible system design and (iii) an integrative process of strategic choices whereby (i) and (ii) are aligned. Each element relies on different cognitive processes (logical relation, causal relation and choice).

Research limitations/implications
By aligning the thought and planning processes, the competing concepts of manufacturing strategy are integrated into a coherent structure.

Practical implications
Different techniques have to be applied for each of the three elements. As each element relies on different cognitive processes (logical relation, causal relation and choice), the use of unifying tools (e.g. in the form of matrices, as often presented in the literature) is inappropriate.

Originality/value
This is the first study to focus on the thought processes underpinning manufacturing strategy.

Bibliographic note

This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.