City Research Online

Digital Machines, Space, And Time: Towards A Behavioral Perspective Of Flexible Manufacturing

Aversa, P. ORCID: 0000-0003-3175-9477, Formentini, M., Iubatti, D. & Lorenzoni, G. (2020). Digital Machines, Space, And Time: Towards A Behavioral Perspective Of Flexible Manufacturing. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 38(1), pp. 114-141. doi: 10.1111/jpim.12542


Recently, the diffusion of digital machines has further enhanced firms’ manufacturing flexibility, but also opened questions on potential challenges and implications in the production process. To respond to these timely issues, we adopt a behavioral perspective and comparatively explore how four different types of digital machines—characterized by increasing degrees of manufacturing flexibility—affect the perception and use of space and time for routines within the production plant. We qualitatively observe and compare 45 digital manufacturing machines, sampled across 14 firms in the British and Italian motorsport industry. A model emerges where four key mechanisms reshape the ‘space-machine’ and ‘time-machine’ routines. Such mechanisms mediate the relationship between manufacturing flexibility and firm performance. Further, we show how increasing digitalization in the manufacturing process enhances the establishment of new routines as flexible machines get introduced in the production. Finally, we discuss the theoretical and practical implications related to fostering a behavioral perspective in innovation and operations management studies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Product Innovation Management published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Product Development & Management Association This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Publisher Keywords: Digital; Flexible manufacturing; Additive manufacturing; Behavioral Perspective; Routines; Operations; Space; Time; Motorsport
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of jpim.12542.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (258kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login