Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Towards a theory of operational excellence

Found, Pauline ORCID:, Lahy, Andy, Williams, Sharon, Hu, Qing and Mason, Robert ORCID: 2018. Towards a theory of operational excellence. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence 29 (9-10) , pp. 1012-1024. 10.1080/14783363.2018.1486544

[thumbnail of Towards a Theory of Operational Excellence.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (356kB) | Preview


The term Operational Excellence is widely applied to businesses but the meaning is ill-defined and is often used as a desired goal. This paper provides a comprehensive review of Operational Excellence and starts to address the criticism of its lack of theoretical foundation. The aim of this conceptual paper is to clarify the meaning of Operational Excellent and to identify the underpinning theories and laws, or rules that guide it. Based on the synthesis of the literature using the term ‘Operational Excellence’ writings are reviewed against five criteria for a good theory. Our findings show there has been considerable research into identifying common practices and regularities of Operational Excellence but currently there is no single underlying theory of Operational Excellence that meets the criteria for a good theory. From our analysis of the literature we provide some recommendations to address the gaps found. Further research is required to develop a more robust theory of Operational Excellence that will serve to facilitate learning and innovation in next generation management thinking. Future study is also required to identify research that has been carried out that has tested the laws identified in this study. Ideas and input from practitioners would also be required to develop the theory and underpinning laws.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 1478-3363
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 April 2018
Date of Acceptance: 31 January 2018
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 21:25

Citation Data

Cited 17 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics