An exploratory study of the manufacturing strategy in start-up companies

Sirirat Sae Lim, Ken Platts, Tim Minshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the UK as more and more traditional manufacturing is being outsourced to lower-cost countries, the development of manufacturing start-up companies is increasingly perceived as important in sustaining a competitive UK manufacturing base. However, start-up companies are often associated with a high failure rate, particularly during the early stages of operation. As they have yet to build up the strength and resources to sustain them through internal and external crises, start-ups operate under conditions that constantly challenge their survival. Developing the most appropriate manufacturing strategy is probably more critical in start-up companies than in established organisations, yet little research has addressed this area. This paper reports the findings of an exploratory study involving six UK manufacturing start-up companies. A novel manufacturing strategy content framework is proposed. The chapter also examines the business orientation (technology-push or market-pull) adopted by the case companies, and investigates how business orientations influenced their manufacturing strategies. This leads to two business orientation mobility models. This chapter concludes by discussing the use of the frameworks and suggesting how they might be put into practice to provide assistance to operational managers in start-up companies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-172
Number of pages22
JournalNew Technology Based Firms in the New Millennium
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012

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