Mass customization : the role of consumer preference measurement, manufacturing flexibility and customer participation

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1366-1382
Journal / PublicationAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number6
Online published18 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023



Purpose - Existing empirical studies emphasize the role of customer preference measurement accuracy (CPMA) on customized product quality while neglecting the role of manufacturing flexibility. However, the rise of web-based technology has highlighted consumer-manufacturer interaction in mass customization (MC). This paper explores the relationships between CPMA, manufacturing flexibility, customer participation and customized product quality, inspired by module decomposition and integration theory.
Design/methodology/approach - The study carried out a questionnaire survey of 241 directors who are specifically responsible for MC in the apparel industry in China and tested hypotheses with structural equation modeling (SEM).
Findings - CPMA has a direct positive influence on customized product quality and an indirect positive effect through manufacturing flexibility. Also, customer participation after placing an order (CPAPO) has a negative moderating effect on the linkage between CPMA and manufacturing flexibility.
Research limitations/implications - A more dynamic relationship between CPMA and MF can be explored in the future, and the findings can be tested in other industries with more abundant data.
Practical implications – Manufacturing flexibility should be improved along with CPMA in MC. Also, disruptions caused by customer participation in the post-design stage should be noticed. In this context, better consumer service in the early design stage may be one possible solution.
Originality/value - First, the essential but unexplored mediating role of manufacturing flexibility is identified, adding knowledge to the consumer–manufacturer interaction literature in MC production. Second, module decomposition and integration are applied to unify consumers and manufacturers into one empirical model, enriched theoretical research on modular theory. Third, this study opens new discussions on the moderating role of customer participation.
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Research Area(s)

  • Consumer preference measurement accuracy (CPMA), Customer participation, Customized product quality, Manufacturing flexibility, Mass customization (MC), Modularity

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