The role of group working in assembly organization

Robert van der Meer, Mairi Gudim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-140
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • group working
  • competitive advantage
  • assembly


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