Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Management of Change and Operational Excellence in the Electrical and Electronics Industry

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Management of Change and Operational Excellence in the Electrical and Electronics Industry

Article excerpt

Introduction

Operational management and performance have been an issue in both academia and industry for over three decades. The literature on operational excellence is growing, but Malaysian manufacturing industry is often lacking in these discussions. In Malaysia, studies of business or organizational performance were focus mainly in Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and little research solely in Electrical and Electronics (E&E) manufacturing. Among the studies in Malaysia manufacturing industry included Total Quality Management (TQM) practices (Arumugam, Ooi & Fong, 2008; Abdullah, Uli & Tari, 2008), business process management and reengineering (Ahmad, Francis & Zairi, 2007) and best practices (Yusuff, 2004; Anuar and Yusuff, 2011). At the macro level, competitive pressures emerging from today?s market require companies to develop and maintain a high level of coherence between their strategy, actions, programmes, practices and performance. The rapidly changing landscape in the globalized market has put new demands on organizations. In order to stay ahead of competition, companies need to re-invent itself by injecting new ideas and strategies to achieve business excellence (Fok-Yew, Ahmad & Baharin, 2013). Excellence can be achieved by meeting or exceeding the expectations of all stakeholders. Nonetheless, pursuing excellence keeps companies on right track to achieve their goals and mission. More important, companies today face incredible pressure to continually improve the products quality while simultaneously reducing cost, remain flexible, to meet short lead time delivery, everlasting legal, environmental and social requirements. The ability to achieve these goals depends to a large extent on how the managing its resources against the ongoing changing environment (Ahmed & Gelaidan, 2013; Dunggan, 2011).

To guide organizations on their journey towards excellence, investigations have largely focused on the identification of critical variables that might better explain how organizational change can be managed to the best effect (Saka, 2002). Therefore, the paper provides an insight in understanding the contemporary influential systems that affect business excellence, particularly excellence in operations. The influential systems may serve as pre-conditions for any companies before embarking on the management of organizational change. The influential systems could be categorized either a "soft? or a "hard? (Peters & Waterman, 1982). Peters and Waterman recognised the important of soft dimension in terms of skills, staff, style, system and shared values along with structure and strategy of hard dimension. Furthermore, Kirk (1995) described hard system have precise objectives that can be expressed in mathematical terms while soft systems are used in relation to human activities where there is unlikely to be agreement about the precise objectives of the system.

In discussing the operational excellence, most of the researchers and practitioners like to relate it with manufacturers. The fact is, manufacturing operation is one of the prime strategic functions in any business. Manufacturing operation whether achieves its competitive position and strategic potential or not solely depends on how it runs its business (Fok-Yew et al., 2013; Yusuff, 2004). Additionally, as manufacturing firms encounter global competition and the pressure to become global, there is a demand for firm?s ability to manage its organizational resources with the desire to attain operational excellence at global level.

When review the development in the world business market such as the issues of globalization, fierce competition and technology advancements, Mokhtar and Yusoff (2009) suggested that manufacturing organisations in Malaysia need to have an ability to adjust and change to survive the challenging business environment. Organizations need to have a new set of capabilities to ensure their survival and growth in the market. …

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