Strategic manufacturing capability pursuance: A conceptual framework

Samuel Leung, Wing Bun Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In all manufacturing firms, using appropriate manufacturing capabilities to gain competitive advantages is of crucial concern. There were scant theories that might help manufacturing firms to select the manufacturing capabilities appropriate for their own situations. Competitive strategy theorists believed that there was always a trade-off impasse between different types of capabilities selections. Some other theorists, however, ruled out this trade-off concern because they believed that manufacturing capabilities were developed through a reinforcement order, which is similar to the formation of a sand-cone. This paper consolidated these two streams of thought, proposing a dual sand-cone perspective. Abstracting from the extant literature, we considered the competitiveness of manufacturing companies from two principal perspectives, i.e. the operation leanness and the new-value creativeness. Different types of manufacturing capabilities should be developed to fit in with the different statuses and paths of competitiveness growth. A path-and-stage identification method was also suggested for monitoring the sequence of capabilities development. Two case studies were provided to illustrate the applicability of the dual sand-cone concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-174
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004


  • Competitive strategy
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Manufacturing systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management


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