Performers and performance: How to investigate the contribution of the operational network to operational performance

J. Wijngaard, J. de Vries, Aukje Nauta

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

7 Citaten (Scopus)


Purpose - This paper seeks to explore the question of how to investigate the contribution of the operational network (comprising sales service, logistics, planning, production, etc.) to operational performance. In doing so, the paper aims to link concepts from organisational and social psychology to production planning and control.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper introduces the concept "operational network", e.g. the network of people involved in customer and production order processing. Members of the operational network need some autonomy, but this autonomy may also lead to dysfunctional behaviour, due to conflicts of interest, ambiguities and individual preferences. The contribution of the operational network seems difficult to investigate. This is illustrated by an empirical study of the role of operational people in a semi-process industry. This study shows that concepts of organisational psychology are very applicable here. However, most results relate perceived behaviour to perceived performance; it appeared to be difficult to relate actual organisation characteristics to actual performance. This paper discusses the research approach that is necessary to be able to fill the gap between "perceived" and "actual".

Findings - To fill the gap between "perceived" and "actual" behaviour, it is necessary to formalize the behaviour of the members of the operational network by adopting an adequate planning and control framework. In most situations such a planning and control framework is not available. Therefore, a study of the role of the operational network needs to be accompanied by a participative design of the planning and control framework.

Originality/value - This paper conducts a convincing investigation into the contribution of the operational network to operational performance, a subject which hitherto has been only marginally addressed.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)394-411
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftInternational Journal of Operations & Production Management
Nummer van het tijdschrift3-4
StatusPublished - 2006

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