Few plants have initial success with advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs), and adaptations are commonly required after installing new technologies. We especially know little about the outcomes of adaptations that manufacturers regularly employ in the context of AMTs. Sociotechnical theory and the technology literature suggest that AMTs commonly require four types of adaptations including those to process technologies, human resources, operational structures, and information systems. This study investigates which of these four adaptations and their interactions lead to improved operational performance. Data were collected on 104 plants that implemented a single type of manufacturing AMT. Findings indicate that information systems (IS) adaptation during the course of AMT implementation was the most important action. Surprisingly, human resource and process technology adaptations were linked to lower performance, and no interactions had any clear effects. The results also show that practitioners underestimated the relevance of IS adaptations during contemporary or “second‐generation” AMT implementation projects and overemphasized the need for shop floor changes.
Decision Sciences – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1999
Keywords: ; ; ;
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