The Impact of Firm Size in the Formulation of Sustainable Manufacturing Strategy Infrastructural Decisions Under Uncertainty

The Impact of Firm Size in the Formulation of Sustainable Manufacturing Strategy Infrastructural Decisions Under Uncertainty

Lanndon Ocampo (Business Management Cluster, University of the Philippines Cebu, Cebu, Philippines)
DOI: 10.4018/IJMMME.2017040101
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This paper adopts a fuzzy analytic network process approach in identifying the impact of the presence of firm size on the content of the manufacturing strategy infrastructural decisions that integrates the classical manufacturing strategy framework and the notion of sustainability. Linguistic variables with equivalent triangular fuzzy numbers were used to elucidate judgment of elements in pairwise comparison matrices within the context of the analytic network process. Analytic network process effectively handles the complexity of the decision-making problem resulting from the subjectivity and interrelationships inherent among decision components. Domain experts in manufacturing strategy and sustainability were asked to elicit judgment in pairwise comparisons. Results show that the content of the infrastructural decisions of manufacturing strategy remains constant regardless of the presences of firm size component. However, the priority of each decision to the goal which can be translated as the priority of implementation of each policy varies with the presence of firm size.
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At the global scale, manufacturing industry contributes a significant fraction of the world energy consumption as well as carbon dioxide emissions; projections for 2050 indicate that energy demand from the manufacturing sector will approximately double (Nezhad, 2009; Mani et al., 2012). This draws scholars into an overarching and interdisciplinary discussion that focuses on the conceptual and methodological approaches addressing sustainability. This encourages various interests in the creation and development of strategies and tools which assess, measure, and support planning and implementation of environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing operations. Lozano (2012) highlights a discussion of these approaches that include cleaner production, corporate citizenship, corporate social responsibility, design for environment, eco-efficiency, eco-labelling, environmental and social accounting, environmental management system, ISO 14000 series, green chemistry, green engineering, industrial ecology, sustainability reporting and livelihood. Along with these tools are several models and frameworks that attempt to prescribe implementation guidelines in carrying out sustainability objectives. These include discussions referring to closed-loop supply chains (Olugu et al., 2010; Duflou et al., 2012), sustainable supply chain with green practices and risk management (Mandal, 2012), material, energy and wastes recovery (Yuan & Dornfeld, 2012; Smith & Ball, 2012), material recycling (Lucignano et al., 2011; Lucignano & Quadrini, 2012), and strategy planning and implementation (Azapagic, 2003). While various approaches became famous in the academic literature and in practice, a transparent relationship of these approaches with the classical focus of manufacturing strategy has not been explored. Despite of the recent developments in this area, they are separately treated such that initiatives which promote competitive advantage have unclear motivations from sustainability issues and vice versa.

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