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|Title:||Comparison of mass customization and generative customization in mass markets|
|Author(s):||Jack Buffington, (Department of Industrial Marketing, e-Commerce and Logistics, Lulea University of Technology, Lulea, Sweden)|
|Citation:||Jack Buffington, (2011) "Comparison of mass customization and generative customization in mass markets", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 111 Iss: 1, pp.41 - 62|
|Keywords:||Mass customization, Mass production, Supply chain management|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/02635571111099721 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – Mass customization has yet to fulfill its original purpose as established by marketing researchers to become an alternative to mass production, largely due to its inability to achieve mass market levels of efficiency. The purpose of this study is to survey consumer's perceptions, willingness and capabilities of participating in a mass customization system, and understand the implications of its findings related to an alternative production system, generative customization.
Design/methodology/approach – After an extensive literature review of mass customization, consumer behavior, complex adaptive systems and generative design, a survey was conducted across US and Swedish consumers relative to their willingness and perceptions regarding mass customization, with hypotheses based upon extant research standards.
Findings – The survey results found that consumers are ambivalent toward mass customization in mass markets, and a conceptual alternative (generative customization) appears to achieve, at least conceptually, the necessary objectives relative to product design conceptualization and fulfillment that mass customization cannot achieve.
Research limitations/implications – A lack of significant findings from extant research regarding consumer perceptions and tolerances regarding mass customization in mass markets is a limitation to this study. The discussion of a new concept (generative customization) as a viable alternative to mass customization as a result of the survey findings needs to be validated empirically in future research.
Originality/value – The paper empirically validates a definition of mass customization as a complementary rather than an alternative to mass production. It also introduces and develops the concept of generative customization as viable alternative to mass production, albeit one that must be empirically validated in future research.
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