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Contribution of manufacturing departments to technology development: An empirical analysis for machinery, electrical and electronics, and automobile plants in Japan

Authors
Journal
International Journal of Production Economics
0925-5273
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
80
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0925-5273(02)00317-1
Keywords
  • Technology Development
  • Production Management
  • Functional Integration
  • Empirical Research
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

Abstract This paper focuses on the role of manufacturing departments in product and process technology development, with its relationship to other main fields of production management. We suggest five measurement scales concerning the technology development activities of manufacturing departments and show that three of the scales, effective process implementation, inter-functional design efforts and product design simplicity, are reliable and valid for 46 Japanese manufacturing plants. Using these measurement scales and a summarized super-scale of technology development, we empirically examine inter-industry and inter-class differences in the involvement of manufacturing departments in technology development and its relationship with other operations management practices and competitive performance to evaluate the contribution of manufacturing departments to technology development. A series of canonical correlation analyses demonstrate that the involvement in technology development is strongly influenced by human resource management, information systems, quality management, and manufacturing strategy, and that it plays a decisive role in determining the competitive performance of the manufacturing plants.

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