This study analyzed various strategy and structure choices to determine their fit relationship with flexible automation (FA). 1Using the moderator hypothesis, we proposed that the more strategy and structure choices complemented FA's competences, the higher would be the performance impact of FA. Data from 87 FA users indicate that quality and flexibility strategies, described as complementary to FA's strengths, interact positively with FA. Low cost strategy, described as conflicting with FA, interacts negatively. Organic structure, viewed as complementary to FA, has only main effects whereas a mechanistic structure interacts negatively. At the manufacturing level, skill diversity and team approaches, considered as complementary to FA, interact positively. While a subgroup analysis of high‐low performers lends additional support to these relationships, analysis of industry subgroups indicates that some relationships are industry specific. We discuss the implications of these findings for research and practice.
Strategic Management Journal – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1993
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