The purpose of this paper is to study the links between manufacturing strategy and change programs of manufacturing firms in Korea. The nature of our analysis is more descriptive than normative or confirmative. First, we investigate the linkage between manufacturing strategy, manufacturing capability, change programs and performance measurement systems. Secondly, we intend to explore an empirical typology of manufacturing strategy and change programs. The initial findings of the study are as follows:
Linkage between manufacturing strategy and change programs of manufacturing firms was not apparent. Flexibility as a strategic priority is positively related to the innovative change programs. There are two distinctive strategies of manufacturing firms in Korea, namely, quality strategy and balanced strategy. We identified three types of change programs, which are incremental change, administrative innovation, and process innovation. Incremental change group has represented low factor score in the change program dimensions. The firms in administrative innovation group mainly depend on information systems and business reengineering. Korean manufacturing firms seem to pursue process improvement by trying simultaneously incremental change in the process, managerial process improvement, and a little bit of innovative change.
Performance variable utilization of the firms are not significantly different along with manufacturing strategies and change programs. We found, however, learning and improvement performance dimension is significantly related to flexibility variables. Process innovation group marked high score in usage of learning and improvement indices. The findings of this study seem to have various implications on realigning the manufacturing strategy, change programs, and performance systems in Korean firms.