PurposeThe objective of this paper is to empirically test and verify the enablers of volume flexibility and product-mix flexibility and to assess the influence of these flexibilities on operational performance.Design/methodology/approachA research framework consisting of nine pairs of hypotheses was developed using an extensive literature review. Using a self-administered questionnaire, 391 responses were collected, and these responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and structural equation modeling techniques.FindingsThe findings empirically confirm the enablers of volume flexibility and product-mix flexibility. The proposed model explained 59 percent variance in volume flexibility and 63 percent variance in product-mix flexibility. Volume flexibility and product-mix flexibility together explained 38 percent variance in operational performance.Research limitations/implicationsTheoretically, this study advances flexibility literature in two significant ways. First, the study conducts first of its kind quantitative empirical investigation considering upstream, downstream, and internal integration practices as enablers of volume flexibility and product-mix flexibility. Second, this study adds to the flexibility literature by suggesting the positive influence of volume and product-mix flexibility on the operational performance of firms.Originality/valueThe study reinforces the role of enablers in the development of volume and product-mix flexibilities. Thus, the study provides a comprehensive view of flexibility enablers that can be used as a diagnostic tool, which practitioners can use to assess and deploy flexibility.
Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 27, 2020
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