Manufacturing in the 1990s - productivity, flexibility and innovation

P.T. Bolwijn, T. Kumpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

206 Citations (Scopus)
378 Downloads (Pure)


The article outlines the evolution of large multinationals as a result of the appearance of new market demands. Companies having to meet specific market demands, are shown to possess certain characteristics, related to the market demands concerned. The analysis shows that innovativeness will, in all probability, be the new market demand in the 1990s, in addition to the already existing ones of efficiency, quality and flexibility. Descriptions of ideal types illustrate the evolution of companies as they move from the Efficient Firm to the Quality Firm on to the Flexible Firm to, finally, the Innovative Firm. The phase model also includes the symptoms of crisis, when moving from one phase to another. Skipping phases appears to be difficult, if not impossible. The same holds true for moving to the next phase, while the organization has not finished with the preceding phase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages13
JournalLong range planning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990


Dive into the research topics of 'Manufacturing in the 1990s - productivity, flexibility and innovation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this