Title

Leveraging automation and integration to improve manufacturing performance under uncertainty: An empirical study

Document Type

Article

Department or Administrative Unit

Finance and Supply Chain Management

Publication Date

2007

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to address the differing impacts of automation and integration on manufacturing performance (MP) under different levels of environmental uncertainty. Design/methodology/approach: Responses from 303 companies are analyzed and presented. Findings: Under industrial (low uncertainty) environment, manufacturing system automation has significant positive impact on MP, while the impact of manufacturing system integration is not significant. Under post‐industrial (high uncertainty) environment, manufacturing system integration has significant positive impact on MP, while the impact of manufacturing system automation is not significant. Research limitations/implications: This paper emphasizes manufacturing strategy responses to different uncertainty levels of environment; either manufacturing system integration strategy or manufacturing system automation strategy plays the primary role for a manufacturing firm to achieve high performance under different uncertainty levels. Practical implications: This paper strongly supports that the key to effective management of automation technology is to improve manufacturing system integration before implementation under high uncertain environment. Originality/value: This paper is one of the first large‐scale empirical studies to address the differing impacts of automation and integration on MP under different levels of environmental uncertainty (EU). Another contribution of this study is the development of valid and reliable measurement instruments for MP and EU, which can be widely used in other manufacturing technology management studies.

Comments

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Journal

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

Rights

Copyright © 2007 Emerald