Time-based competence and performance: an empirical analysis

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Al Serhan, YN, Julian, CC & Ahmed, Z 2015, 'Time-based competence and performance: an empirical analysis', Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 288-301.

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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the relationship between time-based manufacturing competence(TBMC), time-based competitiveness, time-based manufacturing capability, and the performance of SMEs engaged in the steel minimill industry in the USA. This study was based on an empirical investigation of manufacturing firms in the steel minimill industry in the USA. The sample of firms was provided by the US Association of Iron and Steel Engineers. In order to obtain valid and reliable measures of the variables, previously validated scales were used to measure all variables. The primary data for the study were collected from a self-administered mail survey of 137 SMEs with the sample consisting of 71 SMEs indicating a response rate of 52 percent. Statistically significant positive relationships were found between all independent variables and performance. The results also indicate that the high performers have a higher TBMC than the low performers. The findings further confirm the assertion in the manufacturing strategy literature which states that time, as a strategic factor, is a source of competitive advantage. From a methodological perspective, a potential concern may be that the measures are all self-reported. Consequently, the relationships tested may be susceptible to the influence of common method variance. TBMC enables SMEs to offer high-quality products at low cost and in a timely manner. This reflects the value of the positive relationship between TBMC and business performance. This study’s finding identifies the need for time-based competition. The literature suggests that the strategic focus on time enables firms to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage. Nevertheless, this suggestion has been based on conceptual rather than empirical research. The results of this study provide empirical support for that suggestion with respect to SMEs.

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