The paper analyzes the relations among the manufacturing firm's innovativeness, operations priorities, and corporate performance. As opposed to common practice in the literature in which these relations are analyzed on a dichotomous (high vs. low) classification of innovativeness mostly based on product and/or process innovations, a taxonomy based approach is used here. Our findings demonstrate that leading innovators simultaneously compete effectively on multiple operations priorities and obtain the best corporate performance. This research also demonstrate that incorporating shades of grey via the more elaborate taxonomy based approach reveals hidden relations that were otherwise buried in the data. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.