This article analyzes the factors contributing to superior manufacturing performance in the semiconductor industry. Through an analysis of firm‐level data from the United States, Asia, and Europe, we explore the relationship between firm performance along quality and quantity dimensions and three components of the employment system: skill development, employee participation in problem solving, and employee collaboration. We find that manufacturing success is related to the introduction of new production technology and the involvement of all occupations in problem solving under the leadership of engineers, who play a key (and growing) role in this high‐tech industry. We find that the operators and technicians play a smaller role in creating high‐performing semiconductor factories than has been found in studies of more traditional factories, such as automobiles and steel.
Industrial Relations – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 2001
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