• Subject Areas: Manufacturing Strategy;
  • Multivariate Statistics;
  • Operations Management;
  • and Survey Research/Design.


Identifying manufacturers' competitive priorities has long been considered a key element in manufacturing strategy research. However, relatively little effort has been devoted to measurement of these constructs in published research. In this study we develop scales for commonly accepted competitive priorities, cost importance, quality importance, delivery-time importance, and flexibility importance. We assess how well the scales capture the constructs that they represent using data collected from 114 manufacturing plants in the United States. The findings suggest that the instrument developed can provide reliable data and that the constructs measured are valid. In addition, comparisons between pairs of informants representing the same business indicate that the perceptual measures of competitive priorities are as reliable as point estimates of routine, seemingly objective information.