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Applying Hypothesised Cause-and-Effect Relationships (HCER) for Evaluating Investments in Manufacturing Process Technologies (IMPT) and Measuring their ex-post Performance


Research objectives and content

The project's research objective is the development and testing of an original, state-of-the-art method for evaluating investments in manufacturing process technologies (IMPT) and measuring their actual performance. The need for such a method has been suggested very recently by a number of empirical surveys and case studies of medium-sized European companies. In particular the project will focus on investments in the improvement of manufacturing capabilities. This has far reaching effects for the competitiveness of European manufacturing industry. The project builds upon the latest research findings in Operations Management and joined findings in Management Accounting and Strategy. A method will be developed, that integrates hypothesised cause-and-effect relationships, a basic principle of the Balanced Scorecard, and the dichotomy of order-winners/qualifiers. The latter was developed by Prof. T.J. Hill from London Business School and the previous by R. S. Kaplan from Harvard Business School. The method will then be tested for its applicability for evaluating investments in manufacturing process technologies and the measurement of their ex post performance. This will be done in two series of case studies. The findings will be compared to anticipated research findings from the US and the Far East and valuable recommendations for the European manufacturing industry derived.

Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)

The training objective of the proposal is to deepen the applicant's knowledge and to widen his competence in the field of Operations Management. It will provide him with a clear, insightful and broader European dimension of his work and allow him to complete a crucial step in his academic curriculum by acquiring a doctoral degree from an internationally renowned school outside Germany. The candidate can draw from the rich experience of the Centre for Operations Management and its scholars. Also, he will be able to make a distinctive contribution to the international knowledge in his field.

Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)

The Centre for Operations Management has a number of ongoing industrial collaborations in the subject area of the project. The project is industrially relevant as it will involve several companies in its execution. The outcome, an improved method for investment evaluation and performance measurement is of extreme interest for European medium-sized and large companies and will have EU wide implications for market performance. We envisage strong links with the corporate sector.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


London Business School
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