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Journal cover: International Journal of Operations & Production Management

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Online from: 1980

Subject Area: Operations and Logistics Management

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Manufacturing managers' perceptions of functional power in manufacturing organizations

Document Information:
Title:Manufacturing managers' perceptions of functional power in manufacturing organizations
Author(s):Karen Papke Shields, (Department of Information and Decision Sciences, Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA), Manoj K. Malhotra, (Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Citation:Karen Papke Shields, Manoj K. Malhotra, (2008) "Manufacturing managers' perceptions of functional power in manufacturing organizations", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 28 Iss: 9, pp.858 - 874
Keywords:Cross-functional integration, Operations and production management, Strategic manufacturing, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01443570810895285 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine differences in manufacturing managers' perceptions of functional area power in manufacturing organizations to address the perception in the literature that manufacturing has little if any power in the organization.

Design/methodology/approach – Survey data gathered from 129 manufacturing executives in the USA are used to examine their perceptions of differences in functional power in manufacturing firms. Relative rankings of functional areas for four types of power – position, expertise, resource, and political – are used to examine perceived differences, and the relationship between power and the role of the manufacturing executive in strategic decision making.

Findings – Contrary to prior assertions in the manufacturing strategy literature, it was found that the manufacturing and marketing areas are perceived by manufacturing managers to be the most powerful functions, switching in their dominant roles depending upon the type of power. In addition, a relationship exists between position, expertise, and political power and the role of the manufacturing executive.

Research limitations/implications – Although, this research includes a second respondent from a sub-sample of firms, future research should examine not only the manufacturing managers' perceptions of intra-organizational power, but also should dovetail the paper's findings with perceptions of managers in other functional areas as well.

Practical implications – Manufacturing managers can take actions to enhance their role in business-level strategic decisions and be proactive in increasing the power of their functional area.

Originality/value – This paper addresses intra-organizational power, which has not been examined in the manufacturing strategy literature from the perspective of the manufacturing manager's perception.

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