The Evolution of Manufacturing Cells: An Action Research Study
Management and Entrepreneurship
This study seeks to explain how and why manufacturing cells evolve over time. The purpose is to prevent many of the cellular manufacturing failures reported in industry. We conclude that manufacturing cells go through, somewhat overlapping, evolutionary stages before they begin to perform at the optimal level. It is important to recognize these evolutionary stages because they must be properly managed in order to reap the benefits of cell implementation efforts. In the first stage, both human and technical problems exist; however human problems dominate – requiring conflict management skills to resolve. In the second stage, human problems improve, and technical problems persist, requiring formal problem-solving methods to resolve. Finally, in the third stage, both human and technical problems improve, and cells begin to perform at the optimal level.
European Journal of Operational Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)