Towards a theory for Operational Excellence

Found, Pauline and Lahy, Andrew and Williams, Sharon J. and Hu, Qing and Mason, Robert Towards a theory for Operational Excellence. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence. ISSN 1478-3363 (In Press)

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The term Operational Excellence is widely applied to businesses but the meaning is ill-defined and is often used as a desired goal. This paper provides a comprehensive review of Operational Excellence and starts to address the criticism of its lack of theoretical foundation. The aim of this conceptual paper is to clarify the meaning of Operational Excellent and to identify the underpinning theories and laws, or rules that guide it. Based on the synthesis of the literature using the term 'Operational Excellence' writings are reviewed against five criteria for a good theory. Our findings show there has been considerable research into identifying common practices and regularities of Operational Excellence but currently there is no single underlying theory of Operational Excellence that meets the criteria for a good theory. From our analysis of the literature we provide some recommendations to address the gaps found. Further research is required to develop a more robust theory of Operational Excellence that will serve to facilitate learning and innovation in next generation management thinking. Future study is also required to identify research that has been carried out that has tested the laws identified in this study. Ideas and input from practitioners would also be required to develop the theory and underpinning laws.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Operational Excellence; Continuous Improvement; Lean; TQM; Six Sigma; Theory Development; Underpinning Laws
Subjects: A General Works > AI Indexes (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: School of Business > Management
Depositing User: Pauline Found
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2018 10:51
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2020 09:39

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