Academic journal article The Journal of Developing Areas

Service Operations Practice and Performance of Local Authorities in Malaysia

Academic journal article The Journal of Developing Areas

Service Operations Practice and Performance of Local Authorities in Malaysia

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Operations management commonly deals with design, management, planning, coordination, and control of resources needed for the production of goods and services. Operation practices have a significant influence on an organization's ability to compete in the market. In reviewing operation practices, there are several theories that have been used, including the theory of cumulative capacity (Rosenzweig & Roth, 2004), strategic choice theory (Safizadeh et al., 2003), positioning theory (Heim & Sinha, 2002), resource-based theory (Wu, 2007), and the theory of production (Anand & Ward, 2004). Among the existing theories, the resource-based theory is the best theory that can explain the role of operations strategy in creating and sustaining competitive advantage possessed by the organization. Moreover, this theory is based on the strategic management that is integrated with the operation management to create a solid theoretical framework.

According to Roth and Menor (2003), most studies on operation strategy mostly focus on the manufacturing sector. Given the lack of studies on operation strategy, Roth and Menor (2003), therefore, suggested that the study of operation strategies should also be performed in the service sector. In the service sector, this practice is known as the service operations practice (Razalli, 2008). Therefore, the implementation of operation practices in the service sector is crucial, as this sector has begun to dominate most of the economic world today. Attention to services operation practices is not only confined to the private sector but also in the public sector in improving organizational performance. Nevertheless, the public sector is always under pressure from the community to improve the overall performance of the organization, service delivery, and accountability to stakeholders as well as local authorities. Thus, the study of operational practices in the service sector has ample space for a review to see its influence on the performance of the service sector (Razalli, 2008), especially the public sector and non-profit and local authorities. This study, therefore, focused on examining the relationship between operational practices (leadership practice, organizational culture, service delivery system and design) and performance of local authorities in Peninsular Malaysia.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Current Studies on Operation Practices

Although the construct of operational practices and its importance in operational strategies are well noted in literature, the definitions are not unified. Most of the operations practices have been defined through examples practiced by organizations. Moreover, the role of the operating practices are not clear due to the practices referred to and assessed at the level of separate activities, in different circumstances and at different levels of the organization. In addition to the practice of lean production and agile manufacturing, Narasimhan et al. (2005) referred operating practices to a system or group of practices adopted within the organization. There are studies conducted using operational practices such as just in time practices (White et al., 1999), total quality management practices, and the practice of advanced manufacturing technology on performance (Gupta & Whitehouse, 2001). A study conducted by Cua et al., (2001), links the just in time practice, total quality management, and comprehensive preventive maintenance practices to organizational performance. Meanwhile, Challis et al., (2005) examined the influence of integrated manufacturing practices that include advanced manufacturing practices, just in time practice and total quality management to manufacturing performance.

Service Operation Practices

The concept of service operation practices is demonstrated as the practices adopted in the organization. These practices are the operating strategy used by organizations to improve their performance. …

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