Cowton, Christopher J. and Vail, Richard L. (1994) Making sense of just-in-time production: a resource-based perspective. Omega, 22 (5). pp. 427-441. ISSN 0305-0483

Just-in-time (JIT) production has been one of the most prominent elements of ‘Japanese management’ to have been brought to the West. It has been widely explained and discussed, yet there still persists confusion over its definition and a surprising diversity in the practices which go under its name. In this paper we develop a ‘map’ of the principal elements of JIT and of the links between them, basing our analysis on the central notion of eliminating the waste of manufacturing resources. The purpose of the map is not only to present a clear and coherent conceptual understanding of the nature of JIT but also, as a Weberian ‘ideal type’, to offer to both practitioners and academics a means of making sense of what they observe in practice.

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