Towards Bridging the Gap Between Strategy and Operations - A Process Based Framework

University dissertation from Packaging Logistics, Lund University

Abstract: This dissertation is about bridging the gap between strategy and operations in organizations. To bridge that gap, processes are viewed not only from an operational perspective but also from conceptual, as well as a hierarchical perspectives. Bridging the gap can furthermore make organizational change initiatives more logical, and simplify the development and usage of needed performance measurement systems. This research is based on previous research (Näslund, 1996) which indicated that the lack of connection to strategy is a common problem for change initiatives as well as for operations and efforts to develop and implement performance measurement systems. There seems to be a lack of connection between: ' Strategy ' Operations ' Change Initiatives ' Performance Measurement Systems A result is the description of a framework in which I identify three different roles for processes: ' To connect the components of strategy, operations, change initiatives and performance measurement systems - a conceptual perspective. ' To bridge the gap between strategy and operations at the tactical level of organizations by facilitating the translation of strategic goals into process goals and then operational goals - a hierarchical perspective. ' To be a model to both represent the sequence of activities in a flowchart, and a (human activity) system - a traditional, operational perspective. The research is applied, and theoretically based on systems theory and logistics. Methodologically, the research is primarily qualitative. The research approach, a combination of the systems approach and action research, can be characterized as broad and multi-disciplinary. The framework establishes a conceptual relationship between the components of strategy, operations, change initiatives and performance measurement systems, and it explains how the components can be connected with processes. The framework also describes how the most important processes - the tactical level - can bridge the gap between strategic and operational levels of organizations.

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