Engineering Network Operations for International Manufacturing: Strategic Orientations, Influencing Factors and Improvement Paths

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Engineering operations contribute to international manufacturing networks (IMN) capabilities and thus improving their performance in an international context. The literature has recognized engineering networks (EN) with different strategic orientations (e.g. efficiency, innovation and flexibility); explored IMN capabilities in four key areas (i.e. accessibility, thriftiness ability, manufacturing mobility and learning ability); but provided diverse views on their possible connections. Especially, the received wisdom offers less guidance on how EN may enhance IMN capabilities. At the same time, the challenges of making effective decisions at the EN-IMN interface are compounded by a large number of influencing factors that are interrelated in a very complex manner. To cope with these challenges, the article reveals four ways that EN may contribute to IMN capabilities, identifies 15 key influencing factors and suggests optimal paths to enhance IMN capabilities based on the interpretive structure model (ISM) method.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-258
Number of pages20
JournalProduction Planning & Control
Issue number2-3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2019


  • Interpretive Structure Model (ISM), International Manufacturing Network (IMN), Engineering Networks (EN), Network Capabilities, Influencing Factors