This paper presents an empirical study of how consumer electronics companies in Brazil deal with the issue of manufacturing flexibility. The main purpose is to provide an understanding into how flexibility is being perceived and utilized in a newly industrialized country. It begins by explaining the relevance of this study. The participation of Brazil in the world economy is important. Here, companies can be very flexible, based on low cost and an abundant skilled work force, yet flexibility has not been addressed. The paper explains how indicators were established to obtain an analytical structure with which to assess the managerial perception and the actual industrial use of flexibility. Finally, we show the most relevant results of our investigation of 16 leading firms in Brazil, including multinational ones. The findings are divided according to managerial perception of flexibility and effective utilization of flexibility in the organization. The paper concludes that firms in the consumer electronics industry in Brazil do not use flexibility practices in the same proportion that they perceive its importance.
Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 5, 2004
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