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Reducing Patient Lead Time by the Principles of Lean Thinking

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Institute for Healthcare Improvement
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Microsoft Word - euroma 2013 dublin - boer-demeter-szász - final.docx 1 Are best manufacturing practices best everywhere? The effects of country characteristics on manufacturing practices and performance Harry Boer ([email protected]) Aalborg University, Denmark Krisztina Demeter Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary Levente Szász Babes-Bolyai University, Romania Abstract There is an impressive body of literature about best manufacturing practices. The question is whether these practices are always best, everywhere. Thus, the objective of this paper is to investigate country effects on the “goodness” of manufacturing practices. The paper is based on data collected in 2009 using the 5th release of the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS V) and country competitiveness data reported in Schwab (2010), and takes its outset in best practices identified by Laugen et al. (2011) who used essentially the same database. The analyses show that country competitiveness does affect what practices are best, or not. Keywords: Manufacturing Practices; Performance Improvement; Country Effects; Survey. Introduction Sousa and Voss (2008) identified a number of academic studies addressing contingency factors affecting OM best practice in manufacturing operations. According to these authors these “… contingency variables … can be grouped into four broad categories: national context and culture, firm size, strategic context, and other organizational context variables” (p. 703). The latter category includes factors such as industry and plant age. One of the challenges Sousa and Voss (2008) put forward “… is to identify the contingencies that explain the greatest variance in performance” (p. 704). This paper takes up part of that challenge, by arguing for and then testing two related hypotheses on the effect of national context on the association between manufacturing practices and performance, so as to identify if

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