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Prioritisation of operations improvement projects in the European manufacturing industry

Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Kirkham, Louis; Kumar, Vikas; Antony, Jiju

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Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes

Louis Kirkham

Jiju Antony


To improve their competitive ability, organisations are turning towards implementing improvements into their operations and processes. Whilst operations improvement projects are often identified with relative ease, resource constraints limit the ability of organisations to conduct them simultaneously. This paper supports the limited empirical research on prioritisation of improvement initiatives by investigating how European manufacturing organisations conduct this activity. To do this, four hypotheses and two research questions were formulated and tested using a combination of descriptive statistics and two proportion T-tests, while data was collected through a survey questionnaire responded by 203 organisations. The results highlight the importance of objectively prioritising improvement projects and establish that the adoption of this method increases through the implementation of improvement methodologies, especially those that stipulate the use of objective methods towards project prioritisation. In this way, Six Sigma is defined as the most influential improvement methodology for supporting the use of objective prioritisation approaches. The paper also identifies the reasons as to why organisations adopt subjective over objective prioritisation methods, and the most common approaches used by large organisations and small and medium enterprises. This research provides organisations, and their managers, with a better understanding of the different factors that affect this key aspect of operations improvement projects. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Garza-Reyes, J. A., Kirkham, L., Kumar, V., & Antony, J. (2014). Prioritisation of operations improvement projects in the European manufacturing industry. International Journal of Production Research, 52(18), 5323-5345.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 17, 2014
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 17, 2016
Journal International Journal of Production Research
Print ISSN 0020-7543
Electronic ISSN 1366-588X
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Issue 18
Pages 5323-5345
Keywords improvements prioritisation, lean, operations, Six Sigma, objective methods, subjective methods
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research in April 2014, available online:


IJPR paper - revised version2.2_For repository.doc (5.2 Mb)

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