The transfer of 'best practice' knowledge into manufacturing companies : executive summary
Gregory, Ian C. (1997) The transfer of 'best practice' knowledge into manufacturing companies : executive summary. EngD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1378246~S15
The objective of the Engineering Doctorate is to demonstrate innovation in the
application of knowledge to the engineering business environment. The theme of this
portfolio is to understand the mechanisms for the transfer of 'best practice' knowledge
into manufacturing industry and its successful application.
This topic is of vital importance to the future competitiveness of UK industry. It is
widely accepted within the management literature that the pace of change within the
business world has increased and will continue to do so at an ever accelerating rate.
This has been fuelled by the globalisation of markets, by the increased involvement of
huge and developing nations like China and India into international trade and by the
possibilities provided by new technologies. In such an environment it will be
increasingly difficult for companies with mediocre performance to survive. For
example, one study (Strategic Planning Society et at, 1996) ranked 30.1% of UK
companies as 'punchbags' and a further 9.5% as 'won't go the distance'. Thus they
expect 39.6% of UK industry to experience difficulty in surviving in the future.
The best hope for UK manufacturing industry is to raise the performance of these
companies to that near to 'best in class' in their particular market. This cannot be
achieved by isolated evolution. There isn't time. It requires an input of knowledge
developed from companies who have tried different ways of doing things and regained
their competitive position. By learning from the successes and failures of others the process of company regeneration can be accelerated. This way companies stand a
better chance of survival.
The success of the organisational learning process for these companies is dependent
upon the process of transferring this knowledge. If the knowledge is transferred
effectively it will be used quickly to benefit the company. If it is transferred poorly it
may slow down the change process as managers and employees become cynical and
turn back to "the way we've always done things".
Understanding the best way to transfer 'best practice' knowledge is a key element in
understanding how to accelerate the regeneration of UK manufacturing industry and
provides the theme for this portfolio. The portfolio's starting point is the definition for
innovation provided by the TJK Department of Trade and Industry, "the successful
exploitation of new ideas", which allows the demonstration of innovation in the
application of knowledge in two ways:
* Through innovative approaches to successful transfer and use of knowledge by
* Identification and application of 'Best Practice' techniques to companies where
they had not been considered before.
Having identified the nature of and opportunities to test 'best practice', the umbrella of
tools and techniques known as 'Time Compression' was taken as, an academic and
practical framework for the transfer of 'best practice' into four companies. The
learning generated by these interventions has been combined with the results of survey research and literature review to develop the theme for the portfolio, the transfer of
'best practice' knowledge into manufacturing industry.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (EngD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Organizational learning, Manufacturing industries -- Great Britain, Organizational effectiveness -- Great Britain|
|Official Date:||September 1997|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||School of Engineering|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Manton, Stan ; Park, Dan ; Bradbury, Karen|
|Sponsors:||Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)|
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