n South African Journal of Business Management - Developing operations strategies - reassessing the strength and importance of competitive operations priorities for South African businesses

Volume 43, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2078-5585


Operations strategy issues (irrespective of whether they concern content and/or process aspects) still generate considerable interest and attention from researchers and business practitioners alike. While the underlying theory is seemingly well documented and supposedly well understood at this time, the practical implementation concerns through empirical studies of application in various countries arguably still need greater clarity and appreciation. In this regard, a follow-up study of a 1996 research project was conducted in 2009 of a sample of the largest 500 companies in South Africa (including the JSE-listed top 100). The empirical study again focused on the relative strength and importance of five competitive operations priorities (COPs), namely cost, quality, speed, dependability and flexibility, within the context of improving national and international competitiveness. The results suggest that South African businesses, which have developed an operations capability that simultaneously offers higher quality products and/or services at a lower cost and on a more dependable basis than its competitors do, hold the most promise for success in the future business environment locally and internationally.

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