Alignment of operations strategy: Exploring the marketing interface

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that can help managers to overcome barriers to alignment of operations strategy at the interface with marketing. Design/methodology/approach - This objective required the application of a procedure based on strategic consensus and a deeper analysis, such that the delimitation of the study in a single case was mandatory. The strategic processes of interfacing involve managerial attributes that are subject to the influence of human aspects and, therefore, the research method used a qualitative approach. The protocol design included the following data sources: interviews, document reviews and researcher observations. The categorisation was made based on the theoretical references, the frequency of observations, common responses and information from documents. Findings - The balance between intra-functional trade-offs, joint research on the competitive context, reflections on the understanding of customer needs and operational performance, and understanding of inter-functional trade-offs were the main factors verified. They effectively support decisions associated with interface processes and promotes the integration of these processes. They can generate inputs that enable managers to achieve an appropriate balance among alternatives in light of various trade-offs. Practical implications - These factors make possible new connections between strategic processes in the context of operations and marketing functions. The formations of these strategies are aligned through a better understanding of both threats and opportunities by means of a joint analysis of the competitive context. The presented findings can be used to develop a clear definition of strategic objectives of operations and a more appropriate treatment of market needs. Originality/value - The findings from the research can be considered as new elements for promoting alignment in the formation process of the operations strategy. Little research to date has examined the operations-marketing strategic interface of companies in the context of strategic consensus. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.



Operations management, Operations strategy, Operations-marketing interface, Strategic alignment, Strategic consensus, Strategic interface, Operations strategies, Alignment, Management, Managers, Marketing, Research, Commerce

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Industrial Management and Data Systems, v. 113, n. 2, p. 207-233, 2013.