Developing Information Processing Capability for Operational Agility: Implications from a Chinese Manufacturer
The operational agility literature suffers from a lack of clarity in terms of the process or underlying mechanisms through which operational agility is achieved. Drawing on the information processing view of the firm, this study attempts to address this gap by examining the process of operational agility development. A process model of developing information processing capability for operational agility is proposed. As the model suggests, operational agility is achieved through a two-step process – the construction of IT-enabled information processing network and the implementation of organizational control – to enhance the right information processing capability. We further identify three types of information processing capability – information sensitivity, information synergy and information fluidity – that enable operational agility. Furthermore, a five-step practical guide for developing information processing capability for operational agility is provided for practitioners. This is achieved by conducting a case study of Haier, one of the largest household appliance manufacturers in China. This paper concludes with a discussion of the potential contributions and directions for future research.