A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies in manufacturing companies in Ireland

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to replicate the taxonomic study of Miller and Roth and to validate its applicability in a small newly industrialised country. Design/methodology/approach – An empirical survey of manufacturing companies in Ireland was conducted using a research instrument that replicated the questions asked in the original 1994 study. Data was collected using mail questionnaires posted to 874 manufacturers. A total of 199 respondents were used for this study. The study tested two central hypotheses using advanced statistical data analysis techniques, such as canonical discriminant analysis. Findings – The results of the research identified three clustered strategic groups (Best Value, Budget and Multi Focus) which were different from those of Miller and Roth: caretakers, marketeers and innovators. The study supported the dynamic nature of manufacturing strategy, and shows how new manufacturing strategies evolve over time and differ between regions. Research limitations/implications – Further research should replicate this study in other small newly industrialised countries. Given the recently changed nature of the economy within Ireland, a longitudinal study would provide useful insights into the dynamics of manufacturing capabilities. Practical implications – The study provides important insights into manufacturing strategy within a small newly industrialised country. The results suggest that manufacturing strategies appear to change depending on the country of plant location. The manufacturing strategies may be attributed to the unique business environment, challenges and constraints of the country. Originality/value – There is a scarcity of taxonomy studies in general, and there is a dearth of such studies in small newly industrialised countries such as Ireland. Through identifying a new taxonomy the study contributes to the existing literature on manufacturing strategy, and challenges the global applicability of taxonomies developed in the USA.
LanguageEnglish
Pages488-510
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Taxonomy
Manufacturing strategy
Manufacturing companies
Ireland
Developed countries
Scarcity
Plant location
Manufacturing
Discriminant analysis
Business environment
Design methodology
Innovators
Questionnaire
Strategic groups
Empirical survey
Longitudinal study

Cite this

@article{b72d185418b040b59f67de448771affb,
title = "A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies in manufacturing companies in Ireland",
abstract = "Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to replicate the taxonomic study of Miller and Roth and to validate its applicability in a small newly industrialised country. Design/methodology/approach – An empirical survey of manufacturing companies in Ireland was conducted using a research instrument that replicated the questions asked in the original 1994 study. Data was collected using mail questionnaires posted to 874 manufacturers. A total of 199 respondents were used for this study. The study tested two central hypotheses using advanced statistical data analysis techniques, such as canonical discriminant analysis. Findings – The results of the research identified three clustered strategic groups (Best Value, Budget and Multi Focus) which were different from those of Miller and Roth: caretakers, marketeers and innovators. The study supported the dynamic nature of manufacturing strategy, and shows how new manufacturing strategies evolve over time and differ between regions. Research limitations/implications – Further research should replicate this study in other small newly industrialised countries. Given the recently changed nature of the economy within Ireland, a longitudinal study would provide useful insights into the dynamics of manufacturing capabilities. Practical implications – The study provides important insights into manufacturing strategy within a small newly industrialised country. The results suggest that manufacturing strategies appear to change depending on the country of plant location. The manufacturing strategies may be attributed to the unique business environment, challenges and constraints of the country. Originality/value – There is a scarcity of taxonomy studies in general, and there is a dearth of such studies in small newly industrialised countries such as Ireland. Through identifying a new taxonomy the study contributes to the existing literature on manufacturing strategy, and challenges the global applicability of taxonomies developed in the USA.",
author = "Noleen Grant and Trevor Cadden and Ronan McIvor and Paul Humphreys",
note = "Reference text: Acur, N., Gertsen, F., Sun, H. and Frick, J. (2003), “The formalisation of manufacturing strategy and its influence on the relationship between competitive objectives, improvement goals, and action plans”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 23 No. 10, pp. 114-1141. Amoako-Gyampah, K. and Acquaah, M. (2008), “Manufacturing strategy, competitive strategy and firm performance: an empirical study in a developing economy environment”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 111 No. 2, pp. 575-592. Armstrong, J.S. and Overton, T.S. (1977), “Estimating nonresponse bias in mail surveys”, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 14, pp. 396-402. Avella, L., Fernandez, E. and Vazquez, C. (2001), “Analysis of manufacturing strategy as an exploratory factor of competitiveness in the large Spanish industrial firm”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 72, pp. 139-157. Barrios, S., Gorg, H. and Strobl, E. (2005), “Foreign direct investment, competition and industrial development in the host country”, European Economic Review, Vol. 49, pp. 1761-1784. Bozarth, C. and McDermott, C. (1998), “Configurations in manufacturing strategy: a review and directions for future research”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 16, pp. 427-439. Bradley, J., Fitzgerald, J., Honohan, P. and Kearney, I. (2003), “Interpreting the recent Irish growth experience”, Medium-term Review: 1997-2003, ESRI, Dublin, pp. 1-27. Cagliano, R., Acur, N. and Boer, H. (2005), “Patterns of change in manufacturing strategy configurations”, International Journal of Operations & ProductionManagement, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 701-718. Taxonomy of manufacturing strategies 507 Christiansen, T., Berry, W., Bruun, P. and Ward, P. (2003), “A mapping of competitive practices and operational performance in groups of Danish manufacturing companies”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 23 No. 10, pp. 1163-1183. Chung, W. and Swink, M. (2009), “Patterns of advanced manufacturing technology utilization and manufacturing capabilities”, Production and Operations Management, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 533-545. Cox, J.F. and Blackstone, J.H. (1998), APICS Dictionary, 9th ed., APICS, Falls Church, VA. Dangayach,G. andDeshmukh, S. (2001), “Manufacturing strategy literature review and some issues”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 884-932. De Meyer, A. (1998), “Manufacturing operations in Europe: where do we go next?”, European Management Journal, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 262-271. Flynn, B.B., Sakakibara, S., Schroeder, R.G., Bates, K.A. and Flynn, E.J. (1990), “Empirical research methods in operations management”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 250-284. Frohlich, M. and Dixon, J.R. (2001), “A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies: revisited”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 541-558. Frohlich, M. and Dixon, J.R. (2006), “Reflections on replication in OM research”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 24, pp. 865-867. Fynes, B., deBurca, T., Brannick, T. and Glynn, W. (2000), “Quality practice, quality performance and business performance: a test of the trade-off and multiple capability theory”, IBAR, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 29-50. Goh, C.-H., Holsapple, C.W., Johnson, L.E. and Tanner, J.R. (1997), “Evaluating and classifying POM journals”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 15, pp. 123-138. Hair, J.F., Anderson, R.E., Tatham, R.L. and Black, W.C. (1998), Multivariate Data Analysis, 5th ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Hill, T. (1993), Manufacturing Strategy: The Strategic Management of the Manufacturing Function, 2nd ed., Macmillan, London. Hubbard, R., Vetter, D.E. and Little, E.L. (1998), “Replication in strategic management: scientific testing for validity, generalisability, and usefulness”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 19, pp. 243-254. Huber, B. and Sweeney, E. (2007), “The need for wider supply chain management adoption: empirical results from Ireland”, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 245-248. Kathuria, R. (2000), “Competitive priorities and managerial performance: a taxonomy of small manufacturers”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 627-641. Kearns, A. and Ruane, F. (2001), “A tangible contribution of R&D-spending foreign owned plant to a host region, a plant level study of the Irish manufacturing sector (1980-1996)”, Research Policy, Vol. 30, pp. 227-244. Kerlinger, F.N. and Lee, H.B. (2000), Foundations of Behavioral Research, 4th ed., Harcourt College Publishers, Holt, NY. Ketchen, D. and Shook, C. (1996), “The application of cluster analysis in strategic management research: an analysis and critique”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 17, pp. 441-458. Ketokivi, M. and Schroeder, R. (2004), “Manufacturing practices, strategic fit and performance: a routine-based view”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 171-191. JMTM 24,4 508 Layte, R., O’Connell, P.J., Fahey, T. and McCoy, S. (2005), “Ireland and economic globalization: the experiences of a small open economy”, in Blossfeld, H., Klijzing, E., Kurz, K. and Mills, M. (Eds), Globalization, Uncertainty and Youth in Society, Routledge, New York, NY. Lehmann, D.R. (1979), Market Research and Analysis, Irwin, Homewood, IL. Martin-Pena, M.L. and Diaz-Garrido, E. (2008), “A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies in Spanish companies”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 455-477. Miller, D. (1996), “Configurations revised”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 17, pp. 505-512. Miller, J. and Roth, A. (1994), “A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies”, Management Science, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 285-304. Rinke, M. (2002), The Celtic Tiger, GRIN Publishing GmbH, Munich. Schroeder, R.G. and Lahr, T.N. (1990), “Development of manufacturing strategy; a proven process”, Proceedings of the Joint Industry Conference on Manufacturing Strategy, Ann Arbor, MI, pp. 3-14. Skinner, W. (1969), “Manufacturing – the missing link in corporate strategy”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 47 No. 3, pp. 136-145. Sum, C., Kow, L. and Chen, C. (2004), “A taxonomy of operations strategies of high performing small and medium enterprises in Singapore”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 321-345. Swamidass, P.M. and Newell, W.T. (1987), “Manufacturing strategy, environmental uncertainty and performance: a path analytical model”, Management Science, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 509-524. Sweeney, M.T. and Szwejczewski, M. (1996), “A study of the UK engineering industry: manufacturing strategy and performance”, International Journal of Operations and Production, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 25-40. Sweeney, M.T. and Szwejczewski, M. (2000), “Generic manufacturing strategies among UK industries”, Proceedings of First World Conference on Production and Operations Management, Seville. Tracey, M., Vonderembse, M. and Lim, J. (1999), “Manufacturing technology and strategy formulation: keys to enhancing competitiveness and improving performance”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 17, pp. 441-528. Zhao, X., Sum, C.-C., Qi, Y., Zhang, H. and Lee, T.-S. (2006), “A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies in China”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 24, pp. 621-636. Further reading Da Silveira, G. and Slack, N. (2001), “Exploring the trade-off concept”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 949-964. Henry, G. (1990), Practical Sampling, Sage, Newbury Park, CA. Kim, J.S. and Arnold, P. (1992), “Manufacturing competitive and business performance: a framework and empirical analysis”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 13 No. 10, pp. 4-25. Malhotra, M.K. and Groover, V. (1998), “An assessment of survey research in POM: from constructs to theory”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 16, pp. 407-425. Porter, M.E. (1980), Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analysing Industries and Competitors, The Free Press, New York, NY. Taxonomy of manufacturing strategies 509 Rungtusanatham, M.J., Choi, T.Y., Hollingworth, D.G., Wu, Z. and Forza, C. (2003), “Survey research in operations management: historical analyses”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 21, pp. 475-488. Sweeney, M.T. (1991), “Towards a unified theory of strategic manufacturing management”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 11 No. 8, pp. 6-22. Yeung, A., Chan, L. and Lee, T. (2003), “An empirical taxonomy for quality management systems: a study of the Hong Kong electronics industry”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 21, pp. 45-62. Corresponding author Ronan McIvor can be contacted at: r.mcivor@ulster.ac.uk JMTM 24,4 510 To purchase",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1108/17410381311327378",
language = "English",
volume = "24",
pages = "488--510",
journal = "Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management",
issn = "1741-038X",
number = "4",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies in manufacturing companies in Ireland

AU - Grant, Noleen

AU - Cadden, Trevor

AU - McIvor, Ronan

AU - Humphreys, Paul

N1 - Reference text: Acur, N., Gertsen, F., Sun, H. and Frick, J. (2003), “The formalisation of manufacturing strategy and its influence on the relationship between competitive objectives, improvement goals, and action plans”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 23 No. 10, pp. 114-1141. Amoako-Gyampah, K. and Acquaah, M. (2008), “Manufacturing strategy, competitive strategy and firm performance: an empirical study in a developing economy environment”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 111 No. 2, pp. 575-592. Armstrong, J.S. and Overton, T.S. (1977), “Estimating nonresponse bias in mail surveys”, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 14, pp. 396-402. Avella, L., Fernandez, E. and Vazquez, C. (2001), “Analysis of manufacturing strategy as an exploratory factor of competitiveness in the large Spanish industrial firm”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 72, pp. 139-157. Barrios, S., Gorg, H. and Strobl, E. (2005), “Foreign direct investment, competition and industrial development in the host country”, European Economic Review, Vol. 49, pp. 1761-1784. Bozarth, C. and McDermott, C. (1998), “Configurations in manufacturing strategy: a review and directions for future research”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 16, pp. 427-439. Bradley, J., Fitzgerald, J., Honohan, P. and Kearney, I. (2003), “Interpreting the recent Irish growth experience”, Medium-term Review: 1997-2003, ESRI, Dublin, pp. 1-27. Cagliano, R., Acur, N. and Boer, H. (2005), “Patterns of change in manufacturing strategy configurations”, International Journal of Operations & ProductionManagement, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 701-718. Taxonomy of manufacturing strategies 507 Christiansen, T., Berry, W., Bruun, P. and Ward, P. (2003), “A mapping of competitive practices and operational performance in groups of Danish manufacturing companies”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 23 No. 10, pp. 1163-1183. Chung, W. and Swink, M. (2009), “Patterns of advanced manufacturing technology utilization and manufacturing capabilities”, Production and Operations Management, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 533-545. Cox, J.F. and Blackstone, J.H. (1998), APICS Dictionary, 9th ed., APICS, Falls Church, VA. Dangayach,G. andDeshmukh, S. (2001), “Manufacturing strategy literature review and some issues”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 884-932. De Meyer, A. (1998), “Manufacturing operations in Europe: where do we go next?”, European Management Journal, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 262-271. Flynn, B.B., Sakakibara, S., Schroeder, R.G., Bates, K.A. and Flynn, E.J. (1990), “Empirical research methods in operations management”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 250-284. Frohlich, M. and Dixon, J.R. (2001), “A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies: revisited”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 541-558. Frohlich, M. and Dixon, J.R. (2006), “Reflections on replication in OM research”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 24, pp. 865-867. Fynes, B., deBurca, T., Brannick, T. and Glynn, W. (2000), “Quality practice, quality performance and business performance: a test of the trade-off and multiple capability theory”, IBAR, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 29-50. Goh, C.-H., Holsapple, C.W., Johnson, L.E. and Tanner, J.R. (1997), “Evaluating and classifying POM journals”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 15, pp. 123-138. Hair, J.F., Anderson, R.E., Tatham, R.L. and Black, W.C. (1998), Multivariate Data Analysis, 5th ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Hill, T. (1993), Manufacturing Strategy: The Strategic Management of the Manufacturing Function, 2nd ed., Macmillan, London. Hubbard, R., Vetter, D.E. and Little, E.L. (1998), “Replication in strategic management: scientific testing for validity, generalisability, and usefulness”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 19, pp. 243-254. Huber, B. and Sweeney, E. (2007), “The need for wider supply chain management adoption: empirical results from Ireland”, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 245-248. Kathuria, R. (2000), “Competitive priorities and managerial performance: a taxonomy of small manufacturers”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 627-641. Kearns, A. and Ruane, F. (2001), “A tangible contribution of R&D-spending foreign owned plant to a host region, a plant level study of the Irish manufacturing sector (1980-1996)”, Research Policy, Vol. 30, pp. 227-244. Kerlinger, F.N. and Lee, H.B. (2000), Foundations of Behavioral Research, 4th ed., Harcourt College Publishers, Holt, NY. Ketchen, D. and Shook, C. (1996), “The application of cluster analysis in strategic management research: an analysis and critique”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 17, pp. 441-458. Ketokivi, M. and Schroeder, R. (2004), “Manufacturing practices, strategic fit and performance: a routine-based view”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 171-191. JMTM 24,4 508 Layte, R., O’Connell, P.J., Fahey, T. and McCoy, S. (2005), “Ireland and economic globalization: the experiences of a small open economy”, in Blossfeld, H., Klijzing, E., Kurz, K. and Mills, M. (Eds), Globalization, Uncertainty and Youth in Society, Routledge, New York, NY. Lehmann, D.R. (1979), Market Research and Analysis, Irwin, Homewood, IL. Martin-Pena, M.L. and Diaz-Garrido, E. (2008), “A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies in Spanish companies”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 455-477. Miller, D. (1996), “Configurations revised”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 17, pp. 505-512. Miller, J. and Roth, A. (1994), “A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies”, Management Science, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 285-304. Rinke, M. (2002), The Celtic Tiger, GRIN Publishing GmbH, Munich. Schroeder, R.G. and Lahr, T.N. (1990), “Development of manufacturing strategy; a proven process”, Proceedings of the Joint Industry Conference on Manufacturing Strategy, Ann Arbor, MI, pp. 3-14. Skinner, W. (1969), “Manufacturing – the missing link in corporate strategy”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 47 No. 3, pp. 136-145. Sum, C., Kow, L. and Chen, C. (2004), “A taxonomy of operations strategies of high performing small and medium enterprises in Singapore”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 321-345. Swamidass, P.M. and Newell, W.T. (1987), “Manufacturing strategy, environmental uncertainty and performance: a path analytical model”, Management Science, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 509-524. Sweeney, M.T. and Szwejczewski, M. (1996), “A study of the UK engineering industry: manufacturing strategy and performance”, International Journal of Operations and Production, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 25-40. Sweeney, M.T. and Szwejczewski, M. (2000), “Generic manufacturing strategies among UK industries”, Proceedings of First World Conference on Production and Operations Management, Seville. Tracey, M., Vonderembse, M. and Lim, J. (1999), “Manufacturing technology and strategy formulation: keys to enhancing competitiveness and improving performance”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 17, pp. 441-528. Zhao, X., Sum, C.-C., Qi, Y., Zhang, H. and Lee, T.-S. (2006), “A taxonomy of manufacturing strategies in China”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 24, pp. 621-636. Further reading Da Silveira, G. and Slack, N. (2001), “Exploring the trade-off concept”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 949-964. Henry, G. (1990), Practical Sampling, Sage, Newbury Park, CA. Kim, J.S. and Arnold, P. (1992), “Manufacturing competitive and business performance: a framework and empirical analysis”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 13 No. 10, pp. 4-25. Malhotra, M.K. and Groover, V. (1998), “An assessment of survey research in POM: from constructs to theory”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 16, pp. 407-425. Porter, M.E. (1980), Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analysing Industries and Competitors, The Free Press, New York, NY. Taxonomy of manufacturing strategies 509 Rungtusanatham, M.J., Choi, T.Y., Hollingworth, D.G., Wu, Z. and Forza, C. (2003), “Survey research in operations management: historical analyses”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 21, pp. 475-488. Sweeney, M.T. (1991), “Towards a unified theory of strategic manufacturing management”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 11 No. 8, pp. 6-22. Yeung, A., Chan, L. and Lee, T. (2003), “An empirical taxonomy for quality management systems: a study of the Hong Kong electronics industry”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 21, pp. 45-62. Corresponding author Ronan McIvor can be contacted at: r.mcivor@ulster.ac.uk JMTM 24,4 510 To purchase

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to replicate the taxonomic study of Miller and Roth and to validate its applicability in a small newly industrialised country. Design/methodology/approach – An empirical survey of manufacturing companies in Ireland was conducted using a research instrument that replicated the questions asked in the original 1994 study. Data was collected using mail questionnaires posted to 874 manufacturers. A total of 199 respondents were used for this study. The study tested two central hypotheses using advanced statistical data analysis techniques, such as canonical discriminant analysis. Findings – The results of the research identified three clustered strategic groups (Best Value, Budget and Multi Focus) which were different from those of Miller and Roth: caretakers, marketeers and innovators. The study supported the dynamic nature of manufacturing strategy, and shows how new manufacturing strategies evolve over time and differ between regions. Research limitations/implications – Further research should replicate this study in other small newly industrialised countries. Given the recently changed nature of the economy within Ireland, a longitudinal study would provide useful insights into the dynamics of manufacturing capabilities. Practical implications – The study provides important insights into manufacturing strategy within a small newly industrialised country. The results suggest that manufacturing strategies appear to change depending on the country of plant location. The manufacturing strategies may be attributed to the unique business environment, challenges and constraints of the country. Originality/value – There is a scarcity of taxonomy studies in general, and there is a dearth of such studies in small newly industrialised countries such as Ireland. Through identifying a new taxonomy the study contributes to the existing literature on manufacturing strategy, and challenges the global applicability of taxonomies developed in the USA.

AB - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to replicate the taxonomic study of Miller and Roth and to validate its applicability in a small newly industrialised country. Design/methodology/approach – An empirical survey of manufacturing companies in Ireland was conducted using a research instrument that replicated the questions asked in the original 1994 study. Data was collected using mail questionnaires posted to 874 manufacturers. A total of 199 respondents were used for this study. The study tested two central hypotheses using advanced statistical data analysis techniques, such as canonical discriminant analysis. Findings – The results of the research identified three clustered strategic groups (Best Value, Budget and Multi Focus) which were different from those of Miller and Roth: caretakers, marketeers and innovators. The study supported the dynamic nature of manufacturing strategy, and shows how new manufacturing strategies evolve over time and differ between regions. Research limitations/implications – Further research should replicate this study in other small newly industrialised countries. Given the recently changed nature of the economy within Ireland, a longitudinal study would provide useful insights into the dynamics of manufacturing capabilities. Practical implications – The study provides important insights into manufacturing strategy within a small newly industrialised country. The results suggest that manufacturing strategies appear to change depending on the country of plant location. The manufacturing strategies may be attributed to the unique business environment, challenges and constraints of the country. Originality/value – There is a scarcity of taxonomy studies in general, and there is a dearth of such studies in small newly industrialised countries such as Ireland. Through identifying a new taxonomy the study contributes to the existing literature on manufacturing strategy, and challenges the global applicability of taxonomies developed in the USA.

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