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Looking beyond the obvious: Unraveling the Toyota production system


  • Jayaram, Jayanth
  • Das, Ajay
  • Nicolae, Mariana


In contrast to prior research on the Toyota Production System (TPS) that has tended to focus on the micro issues or structural issues, we take an integrated approach of TPS to include the rules or principles underlying TPS. Consistent with recent work by Spear and Bowen (1999) and Spear (2004), we suggest that the systematic method in combination with lean practices typify the TPS. We expand upon this body of work by empirically examining our suggestions on a large sample data comprising manufacturing plants in several industries. Several main effects of TPS practices on performance were found. Similarly, TPS rules were found to be positively related to manufacturing performance. Finally, we found a positive interaction effect between the TPS practice of preventive maintenance and the TPS rule of decentralized decision making on all performance measures in this study, i.e. manufacturing cycle time, quality, cost, and delivery speed. Implications for theory building and for practitioners are offered.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayaram, Jayanth & Das, Ajay & Nicolae, Mariana, 2010. "Looking beyond the obvious: Unraveling the Toyota production system," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 280-291, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:128:y:2010:i:1:p:280-291

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. White, Richard E. & Prybutok, Victor, 2001. "The relationship between JIT practices and type of production system," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 113-124, April.
    2. Abdulmalek, Fawaz A. & Rajgopal, Jayant, 2007. "Analyzing the benefits of lean manufacturing and value stream mapping via simulation: A process sector case study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 223-236, May.
    3. Armstrong, J. Scott & Overton, Terry S., 1977. "Estimating Nonresponse Bias in Mail Surveys," MPRA Paper 81694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Sadao Sakakibara & Barbara B. Flynn & Roger G. Schroeder & William T. Morris, 1997. "The Impact of Just-in-Time Manufacturing and Its Infrastructure on Manufacturing Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(9), pages 1246-1257, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:proeco:v:197:y:2018:i:c:p:342-357 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Arnold, Ulli & Neubauer, Joerg & Schoenherr, Tobias, 2012. "Explicating factors for companies’ inclination towards corruption in Operations and supply chain management: An exploratory study in Germany," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 136-147.
    3. Schoenherr, Tobias, 2012. "The role of environmental management in sustainable business development: A multi-country investigation," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 116-128.


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