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Specific Customer Knowledge And Operational Performance In Apparel Manufacturing

Alice H. W. Yeung, V. H. Lo, A. Yeung, T. Cheng
Published 2008 · Business

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Abstract Customer knowledge is an important organizational asset that can be exploited to yield competitive advantage to a firm. However, empirical research on the application of customer knowledge to improve operational performance has been lacking in operations management. In this study we explore how customer knowledge can be used to improve operational performance under a supply chain environment in the clothing industry. We first conceptualize the relationship between customer knowledge and operational performance and delineate their attributes based on a review of the pertinent literature. We then formulate several hypotheses based on past studies and interviews with experienced industry personnel. We develop a self-reported questionnaire to collect data to test the hypotheses. Finally, we conduct a number of regression analyses to identify the key attributes (constructs) of customer knowledge that have a significant impact on operational performance. This paper contributes to research by demonstrating that there are relationships between specific customer knowledge and different facets of operational performance, and provides practitioners in clothing manufacturing with managerial insights on how to leverage customer knowledge for operational performance improvement.
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