An exploratory study on manufacturing strategy formulation in start-up companies

Sirirat Sae Lim, Ken Platts, Tim Minshall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

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In the UK, as more traditional manufacturing is outsourced to lower-cost countries, the development of new high-tech manufacturing firms is increasingly perceived as important for sustaining a competitive UK manufacturing base. Early in their lifecycle, start-ups are vulnerable and prone to failure. Mistakes made in critical decisions regarding entry into manufacturing can significantly impact the survival of the firm. Developing the most appropriate strategy is probably more critical in start-up companies than in established organizations, yet little research has addressed this area. This paper reports research into the development of manufacturing strategy in start-up companies. The paper first reviews the literature and then presents findings from nine case studies of start-up companies, showing the nature and timing of the key strategic decisions that were taken, and examining the issues and problems encountered. Using the results from the cases, and the concepts of development tasks and strategic decision areas taken from the literature, a conceptual framework for strategy formulation in such companies is developed. The paper concludes by discussing the use of the framework, and suggesting how it might be operationalised to provide assistance to operational managers in start-up companies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference 2008
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9789036526685
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2008 - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 21 May 200823 May 2008
Conference number: 16


Conference16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2008
Abbreviated titleHTSF


  • Online strategy
  • E-Marketing
  • Web 2.0
  • Social Media
  • Consumer Influence


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