Acquisition of Operations Capability: A Model and Test across U.S. and European Firms

K. C. Tan
V. R. Kannan
J. Jayaram
R. Narasimhan


In this paper, a three-factor model of operations capability is presented which, unlike previous studies that view capability as an outcome, examines the drivers of capability acquisition. The model proposes that capability acquisition is a function of an organization's commitment to the principles of quality management, just-in-time practices, and effective new product development processes. Furthermore, the paper proposes that these underlying facets of capability acquisition are common across geographic boundaries. The model is tested using data drawn from US and European companies. Results not only provide support for the three-factor model, but also for the invariance of the model and its underlying components between US and European firms.