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Embeddedness and path dependence of organizational capabilities for mass customization and green management: A longitudinal case study in the machinery industry

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  • Trentin, Alessio
  • Forza, Cipriano
  • Perin, Elisa

Abstract

A growing number of firms today have to cope with the twofold challenge of mass customization (i.e., combining high performance in product customization with high performance in cost, delivery and quality) and green management (i.e., integrating environmental-sustainability principles into businesses). Research on this joint challenge, however, is still limited in the literature. To narrow this gap, we empirically investigate the interconnectedness of mass customization and green management on the level of their enabling capabilities. Through a single longitudinal case study in a machinery manufacturing organization that, during the period of observation, succeeded in developing both mass-customization capabilities and green-management capabilities, we find overlaps and path dependences between such capabilities. Pragmatically, these findings indicate synergies that firms pursuing a green mass customization strategy may leverage in order to alleviate the difficulty of implementing that strategy. From an academic standpoint, these findings contribute to the debate on the relationship between the environmental pillar of sustainability and its economic pillar and, at the same time, add both to the body of the literature on mass customization and to the one on green management. Limitations of the present study and the related opportunities for future research are, finally, discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Trentin, Alessio & Forza, Cipriano & Perin, Elisa, 2015. "Embeddedness and path dependence of organizational capabilities for mass customization and green management: A longitudinal case study in the machinery industry," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 253-276.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:169:y:2015:i:c:p:253-276
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2015.08.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:proeco:v:196:y:2018:i:c:p:335-345 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:proeco:v:197:y:2018:i:c:p:283-296 is not listed on IDEAS

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