Resource Based Strategy: Competences and Co-ordination Methods

The industrial problem

It is well known that organisations able to effectively co-ordinate relatively meagre hardware can out perform organisations with poorly co-ordinated yet excellent hardware, or that production systems containing coordination practices built for one culture can be inappropriate in another. Effective, context sensitive co-ordination is clearly present where companies out perform their peers. Manufacturers involved in multi-organizational service enterprises must address co-ordination between independent companies and the client as well as company centric co-ordination.


The research

The research aims to study co-ordination practices at two levels, first within manufacturing businesses and second, between manufacturing businesses, providing complex services, and their clients.

It is expected that each research strand will stimulate and benefit the other by extending the literature search and increasing case examples of coordination practices.


The benefits

Within manufacturing businesses the research aims to develop tools that will enable companies to improve the performance of their manufacturing resources by:

  • Understanding the scope and importance of resource coordination
  • Improving the coordination of the best performers
  • Diagnosing and improving the coordination of poorer performers.

The research between manufacturers and their service clients aims to develop tools that:

  • Can assess the enablers and barriers to enterprise coordination in a particular context
  • Diagnose and help improve the coordination practices in that context

Research approach

Within manufacturing businesses the research addresses co-ordination by developing methods of:

  • Identifying generic factors driving the need for co-ordination
  • Identifying the coordination practices in use in manufacturing companies through literature search and participant observation
  • Assessing the appropriateness of these coordination methods to the factors that generate the need for coordination

The research between manufacturers and their service clients addresses coordination by

  • Identifying coordination practices used in this context from relevant literature and case study data
  • Identifying barriers to and enablers of appropriate coordination from literature and case data

The research will draw on methods previously developed and tested that

  • identify and assess the importance of resources in manufacturing and service organisations
  • structure resources into a defined picture


  • Yue Zhao focuses on coordination within manufacturing companies and the current industrial sponsors are Philips Avent and Prism Electronics.
  • John Mills focuses on coordination between manufacturing companies and their service clients and supports other researchers in the area. The industrial sponsor is BAE Systems.

Related research

  • Mark Khater - "Make" competences in manufacturing firms.
  • Hans-Georg Mundhenke - Location specific production systems.
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