The evolution of manufacturing systems: Towards the post-industrial enterprise
The post-industrial manufacturing era is likely to be characterized by increased market diversity, rapid market and technological change, and the world-wide spread of advanced manufacturing technologies. Many firms have had difficulty responding to changing customer needs while improving productivity. Implicitly if not explicitly, top management's responses to these challenges are shaped by two alternative paradigms for managing manufacturing firms--industrial and post-industrial. The industrial paradigm, based on an economic/technical perspective, views manufacturing as a functional area. In contrast, the post-industrial paradigm, based on a customer-oriented sociotechnical perspective, views manufacturing as an enterprise. This paper presents a stage model of the evolution of manufacturing from craft systems, to industrial systems, to the emerging post-industrial manufacturing enterprise. The attributes of each stage are described and the forces driving the evolutionary process are discussed. The authors contend that industrial and post-industrial enterprises seek innovativeness and efficiency in different ways. This model of the evolution of manufacturing systems is used to provide one explanation of the difficulty firms have had adapting to the new era in manufacturing.
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Volume (Year): 19 (1991)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
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