Inderscience Publishers

Innovation, improvement and operations: an exploration of the management of alignment

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Based on the assumption that the three functions of operations, improvement and innovation within companies need to be aligned to improve company performance, this article addresses two internal alignment mechanisms structural and social-dynamic alignment. A survey of 267 companies confirms that successful companies use non-functional organisational structures to align the three functions. Case studies of three firms suggest that alignment can be characterised as exchange relationships between people representing the three functions. They show in more detail how alignment can be achieved. It appears that both structural and social-dynamic aspects, such as power and trust, play a significant role.

Keywords: operations, improvement, innovation, structural and social-dynamic alignment, non-functional structures, survey, case study

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