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Balanced scorecards for strategic and sustainable continuous improvement capability
KTH, Superseded Departments, Industrial Economics and Management.
2004 (English)In: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, ISSN 1741-038X, E-ISSN 1758-7786, Vol. 15, no 4, 350-359 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Illustrates how strategic continuous improvement (CI) capabilities were developed in three Swedish manufacturing companies that have implemented the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). A multiple case study was conducted; each company followed a unique team-based CI strategy. Shows how the use of BSC was adapted to the specific characteristics that each of the CI strategies entail. Furthermore, shows that it could be difficult to sustain the capability that was developed. However, also finds that certain mechanisms in the management control system, as well as the presence of an advanced work organisation, may help in sustaining the strategic CI capability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 15, no 4, 350-359 p.
Keyword [en]
Balanced scorecard, Case studies, Continuous improvement, Sweden, Work organization
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6722DOI: 10.1108/17410380410535053OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-6722DiVA: diva2:11512
Note
QC 20100525Available from: 2007-01-10 Created: 2007-01-10 Last updated: 2010-05-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mot balanserad styrning i teamorganiserad produktion
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mot balanserad styrning i teamorganiserad produktion
2003 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

During the 1990s two contrasting paths to the organization of work have emerged in the Swedish engineering industry: the structure-conservative and structure-innovative. This thesis deals with the latter, and focuses primarily on necessary changes in management control systems that support structureinnovative forms of team-organized work. Three types of management control systems are studied in this thesis: performance management and measurement systems, systems for continuous improvements and wage systems.

The empirical base of this thesis consists of data from an exploratory survey study as well as a multiple case study.

On a general level, the survey study indicates a lack of congruence between structure and systems. Many companies seem to have started to move along the structure-innovative path but have not changed the management control systems accordingly. However, there are good reasons for doing so. The companies that have chosen the structure-innovative path perform better in terms of productivity, quality and cost reduction. These are also the companies that have changed their management control systems to the greatest extent.

The case study provides examples of how management control systems may be changed to fit structure-innovative forms of team-organized work. The main focus has been on the use of Balanced Scorecard. How a strategic continuous improvement capability was developed and sustained in the studied companies is illustrated. The findings extend previous research on new production concepts, which, this thesis argues, are not to be regarded as an issue of technology and vertical division of labour only, but also of supportive management control systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2003. 81 p.
Series
TRITA-IEO, ISSN 1100-7982 ; 2003:14
Keyword
shop-floor teams, management control and Swedish engineering industry
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-1670 (URN)91-7283-623-7 (ISBN)
Presentation
(English)
Note

QC 20100525

Available from: 2004-01-19 Created: 2004-01-19 Last updated: 2017-01-19Bibliographically approved
2. Acting creatively for enhanced performance: Challenges for Swedish manufacturers in an age of outsourcing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Acting creatively for enhanced performance: Challenges for Swedish manufacturers in an age of outsourcing
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation aims to contribute to the discourse on the future of manufacturing in Sweden. It is argued that the real threat does not come from lower wages in Eastern Europe and Asia. Rather it comes from an inability to make the most of existing manufacturing systems.

The joint contribution of the underlying studies that this dissertation is based on provides compelling support for corroborating this line of thought. More important, however, is that in addition to showing that there is room for improvement, a lot of input is provided on how to act creatively for enhanced performance.

The discussion on how to act mainly focuses on three research issues.

First, enhancing continuous improvement capability. The continuous improvement abilities considered most important for Swedish manufacturers to develop are pointed out. That is, the ability to adopt a systematic and strategic approach to continuous improvements, the ability to lead the way towards continuous improvements, and finally the ability to involve customers and suppliers in continuous improvements. Furthermore, the likely positive performance impact of accomplishing this is clarified.

Second, adopting the principles of lean manufacturing. Rather than reinforcing Taylorism, it is shown that lean manufacturing seems to contribute to the creation of sustainable work systems in Sweden. However, a broad process of change awaits the many companies that might aspire to transform their operations in this direction. In order to reap the full potential of this strategy, the work organisation, as well as management accounting and remuneration systems, must change, not only manufacturing processes.

Third and finally, making more effective outsourcing decisions. It is shown that any positive effects of outsourcing manufacturing are more likely to be realized if concurrent initiatives are taken to develop the capability of the manufacturing function. The analysis also indicates a potential for taking a more strategic approach to outsourcing, i.e., outsourcing in order to increase focus on core manufacturing activities and take advantage of the supplier’s higher innovation capability. Moreover, a potential for selecting suppliers more appropriately is also indicated, such as by trying to achieve greater economies of scale.

The chosen methodological approach has been to combine two large-scale surveys of representative samples of Swedish engineering industry companies with two multiple case studies. The surveys measured continuous improvement behaviours, lean manufacturing and outsourcing, and provides descriptive statistics as well as tests of theoretical assumptions. The case studies provide a deeper understanding of researched issues. One was designed to illustrate how the Balanced Scorecard may enhance the continuous improvement capability level, and the other, to hearing some voices of the empirical field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006
Series
Trita-IEO, ISSN 1100-7982 ; 2006:17
Keyword
Balanced Scorecard, continuous improvement behaviours, lean manufacturing, outsourcing manufacturing, plant performance, Swedish engineering industry, team-based work organisation, shop-floor work.
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4262 (URN)91-7178-517-5 (ISBN)978-91-7178-517-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-12-19, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100525Available from: 2007-01-10 Created: 2007-01-10 Last updated: 2011-02-04Bibliographically approved

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