A development and extension of the engineering solutions for the Miles and Snow's adaptive cycle

  • Yang Dai

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Miles and Snow proposed their theory about organisation strategy, structure and process in 1978. The key point of their theory is the adaptation cycle of an enterprise among entrepreneurship domain, engineering domain and administration domain. They propose three successful strategy types: Defender, Prospector and Analyser, which can successfully adapt to changes in the environment in their own way. Since the theory first appeared in the 1970s, it has been applied and examined in strategy, organisational theory, human resource management, operations management, marketing and accounting, but has not been rigorously applied to modern manufacturing. This research aims to test and develop Miles and snow's engineering solutions of Defender, Prospector and Analyser in the adaptive cycle model. A series of propositions and hypotheses have been generated based on the EE (Entrepreneurship - Engineering) and the EA (Engineering - Administration) models that created in this research, which are based on the literature review of manufacturing technologies, strategic theories and Miles and Snow typology. AMTs (Advanced Manufacturing Technologies) are chosen to test the EE and EA models, as well as original Miles and Snow's engineering solution. Both quantitative and qualitative methods have been applied in this research in order to validate these propositions and hypotheses. The research has generated a number of successful outcomes relating to its aim and objectives: Firstly, the Miles and Snow model is extended into an area that was not only under represented in the original exposition, but also has changed dramatically since their framework was derived. Secondly, the research places manufacturing strategy issues into a well-validated organisational model, thereby reducing the implicit passivity of many manufacturing strategy prescriptions. These two contributions will enable further contributions of value to both theorists and practitioners. Implementation difficulties associated with organisational obstacles can be assessed in terms of organisational solutions and these might be contrasted with technical solutions prevalent in the literature. Further research can be explored in the following areas based on the validation of the EE and the EA models: in other technologies, other industries, and other countries.
    Date of Award2007
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Nottingham Trent University

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