Demonstrates how different forms of assembly organization can be classified on the
basis of three structural characteristics and analyses the possible relationships
between these characteristics and the various dimensions of competitive advantage.
Uses the resulting model of the "assembly organization cube" to show that - apart
from four "pure" forms of assembly organization - there is a multitude of potential
"hybrid" forms, all of which may be expected to support the competitive advantage
of the business in different ways from one another. Applies the model to a case study
of group working in a clothing manufacturing plant. Explains how the net effects
of the move from progressive assembly in batches towards a form of assembly organization
incorporating somewhat longer task cycles, tighter coupling, and a more horizontal
form of co-operation have been significant improvements in each of the dimensions
of competitive advantage targeted (throughput times, product flexibility, in-process
quality, and production efficiency) as well as an increase in the level of job satisfaction
of assembly operators.