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Aligning critical success factors to organizational design: A study of Swedish textile and clothing firms

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Purpose ‐ Concurrent designing of products, processes and supply chains (three-dimensional concurrent engineering (3-DCE)) has proved to be beneficial in rendering holistic, market-responsive architecture to organizations through linkages created by dynamic capability development and innovation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the promises of 3-DCE in synthesizing and sustaining critical success factors (CSFs) for organizations, and also to underpin the existing gap between its offerings in devising the CSFs and the "real solutions" essential in a dynamic system's perspective. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper adopts an intermediary approach combining both explanatory and exploratory researches. The conceptual framework of the paper is based on a matrix for organizational mapping of textile, clothing and fashion (TCF) firms prepared through content analysis. This is followed by an extensive semi-structured survey. The selection of firms was based on contacting TEKO and Europages. Usable responses were obtained from 42 firms for detailed analysis, making the response rate around 15 percent. Findings ‐ The results were manifold. It showed that most of the key success factors are synthesized and sustained through 3-DCE designing. The paper also highlights the necessity of incorporating intangible value propositions of culture, leadership and governance, knowledge, image and relationship into the 3-DCE model to generate an "extended 3-DCE" framework for mediating operational performance and hence organizational success. Such a model required in a dynamic environment is argued to show a fit to represent a design for resilience perspective, requiring further research. Research limitations/implications ‐ First, the selection of sample size of organizations was small and arguments regarding its representation of the Swedish TCF firms' population could be raised. So the claims and propositions of the paper cannot be widely generalized. Second, the responses to the survey were based on judgments of the company top management and could vary if intra-organizational responses were considered. Practical implications ‐ The findings from the paper can be beneficial for organizations to understand the key areas in which to invest and how to invest their resources and time, as CSF identification is largely qualitative and can result in differing opinions in pinpointing them. It is thus recommended to synthesize or identify them from the 3-DCE perspective. Originality/value ‐ The paper is original in realizing how 3-DCE can be instrumental in devising CSFs in organizations and also what factors needs to be incorporated into its "extended" framework to match the requirements for organizations in a dynamic environment.
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Keywords: Critical success factors; Organizational design; Sweden; Textile industry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 07 June 2011

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