eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
Estonian Journal of Engineering

Management capabilities and application of complex automated systems; pp. 30–46

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/eng.2013.1.04

Kadri Kristjuhan, Ergo Metsla, Hannes Ling


Management innovation scholars over the last decade and quality management authorities over several past decades have indicated that companies need effective management practices in order to utilize complex automated systems. However, empirical evidence for a relationship between companies’ management and technological capabilities has been lacking. This study plugs an important gap in empirical evidence of the relationship between companies’ management capabilities and application of complex automated systems. A pilot study was conducted in Estonian companies, which apply robot welding. Evidence of a strong correlation (correlation coefficient of 0.74) between companies’ management capabilities and effectiveness in utilizing this complex technology was shown. The study also revealed a novel survey instrument for studying companies’ management and technological capabilities.


  1. Mol, M. J. and Birkinshaw, J. The sources of management innovation: When firms introduce new management practices. J. Bus. Res., 2009, 62, 1269–1280.

  2. Mizuno, S. Company-wide Total Quality Control. Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo, 1988.

  3. Kondo, Y. Companywide Quality Control: Its Background and Development. 3A Corporation, Tokyo, 1999.

  4. Vadi, M., Tepp, M., Reino, A., Ahonen, M., Kaarelson, T., Killumets, E., Leimann, J., Parts, V., Rillo, M., Zernand-Vilson, M. et al. Eesti juhtimisvaldkonna uuring. EAS, Tallinn, 2011.

  5. Gans, K. and Kokla, M. Tootmisjuhtimise operatiivtasandi uuring. EAS, Tallinn, 2011.

  6. Varblane, U., Varblane, U. and Espenberg, K. Eesti masinatööstuse sektoruuring. EAS, Tallinn, 2011.

  7. Luthans, F., Rosenkrantz, S. A. and Hennessey, H. W. What do successful managers really do? An observation study of managerial activities. J. Appl. Beh. Sci., 1985, 21, 255–270.

  8. Luthans, F. Successful vs. effective real managers. Acad. Manage. Ex., 1988, 2, 127–132.

  9. Fayol, H. General and Industrial Management. Pitman, London, 1949.

10. Daft, R. Management. South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason, 2012.

11. Drucker, P. F. The Practice of Management. Harper Collins Publ. Inc., New York, 1982.

12. Mintzberg, H. Managerial work: Analysis from observation. Manage. Sci., 1971, 18, B-97–110.

13. Kotter, J. P. The General Managers. Free Press, New York, 1982.

14. Floyd, S. W and Wooldridge, B. Middle management involvement in strategy and its association with strategic type. Strat. Manage. J., 1992, 13, 153–167.

15. Carroll, S. J. and Gillen, D. J. Are the classical management functions useful in describing managerial work? Acad. Manage. Rev., 1987, 12, 38–51.

16. Asllani, A. and Luthans, F. What knowledge managers really do: An empirical and comparative analysis. J. Know. Manage., 2003, 7, 53–66.

17. O’Driscoll, M. P., Humphries, M. and Larsen, H. H. Managerial activities, competence and effectiveness: Manager and subordinate perceptions. Int. J. HR Manage., 1991, 2, 313–326.

18. Holcomb, T. R., Holmes, M. R., Jr. and Conelly, B. L. Making the most of what you have: Managerial ability as a source of resource value creation. Strat. Manage. J., 2009, 30, 457–485.

19. Richard, J. P., Devinney, M. T., Yip, S. G. and Johnson, G. Measuring organizational performance: Towards methodological best practice. J. Manage., 2009, 35, 718–804.

20. Horovitz, J. H. and Thietart, R. A. Strategy, management design and firm perfomance. Strat. Manage. J., 1982, 3, 67–76.

21. Bloom, N. and Van Reenen, J. Measuring and explaining management practices across firms and countries. Quart. J. Econ., 2007, 122, 1351–1408.

22. Svirina, A. Measuring managerial efficiency: A balanced approach. Gl. J. Bus. Res., 2010, 4, 97–104.

23. Loveridge, K. Non-financial performance indicators. In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management (Cooper, C. L., ed.). Blackwell Publ. subscriber/tocnode?id=g9780631233176_chunk_g978140511828621_ss6-1 (29.02.2012).

24. Kelley, D. J., O’Connor, G. C., Neck, H. and Peters, L. Building an organizational capability for radical innovation: The direct managerial role. J. Eng. Technol. Manage., 2011, 28, 249–267.

25. Wang, E. G., Klein, G. and Jiang, J. J. ERP misfit: Country of origin and organizational factors. J. Manage. Inf. Syst., 2006, 23, 263–292.

26. Bloom, N., Sadun, R. and Van Reenen, J. It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do I.T. Investigating the productivity miracle using U.S. multinationals. Working paper. (31.01.2012).

27. Statistics Estonia, Tallinn, 2013. (08.02.2013).

Back to Issue