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Variety Steering Concept for Mass Customization


  • Blecker, Thorsten
  • Abdelkafi, Nizar
  • Kaluza, Bernd
  • Friedrich, Gerhard


In this paper we make the distinction between subjective and objective customer needs. The subjective needs are the individually realized and articulated requirements, whereas the objective needs are the real ones perceived by a fictive neutral perspective. We show that variety in mass customization has to be orientated on the objective needs. In order to help mass customizers better evaluate the degree to which they can fulfill the objective needs as well as their internal complexity level we have developed a key metrics system model. We also present a conceptual application showing how to use this model to support decision making related to the introduction or reduction of product variants.

Suggested Citation

  • Blecker, Thorsten & Abdelkafi, Nizar & Kaluza, Bernd & Friedrich, Gerhard, 2003. "Variety Steering Concept for Mass Customization," MPRA Paper 5251, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5251

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arnold Picot & Ralf Reichwald & Rolf Wigand, 2008. "Information, Organization and Management," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-540-71395-1, September.
    2. Berman, Barry, 2002. "Should your firm adopt a mass customization strategy?," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 51-60.
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    More about this item


    Variety Management; Complexity; Production/Operations Management;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production


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