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Manufacturing Strategy Regained: Evidence for the Demise of Best-Practice
Pilkington, Alan
41/1  (Fall 1998): 31-42

The long-term trend of manufacturing management to adopt "best practice" has had an expressed preference for Japanese production systems as a means of generating industrial success. While commentators have noted the lack of correlation between imitation and competitive advantage, one of the reasons for this failure-namely, the very range of operating methods among Japanese producers-has not been so fully explored. This article uses evidence from the U.K. automobile industry to illustrate the disappointing impact of Japanization and best practice, and it suggests that managers should concentrate on the development of strategic competencies and the aligning of manufacturing with corporate strategy.