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Article

Christer Karlsson, Margaret Taylor and Andrew Taylor

The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine the various mechanisms that can be used to integrate new technology into existing products, and to determine some of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine the various mechanisms that can be used to integrate new technology into existing products, and to determine some of the conditions under which specific integration mechanisms are most appropriate.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopted an exploratory theory‐building approach based on analysis of data from 12 case studies, each representing companies with varying levels of: technological maturity of the organization and technological advancement of their products. Informants were managers and engineers who had responsibility for, or a significant role in, the integration of software and hardware. At least three interviews were conducted in each company and all interviews were of at least two hours duration. In total, 41 interviews were conducted. The different approaches used for technology integration were examined and subsequently mapped using the twin dimensions outlined above.

Findings

Cross‐case pattern analysis indicates that for technologically mature organizations, mechanisms based on processes are most appropriate, while for less mature organizations an approach based on structural mechanisms may be more suitable. Similarly, in cases involving high levels of technology advancement in the products, integration mechanisms based on processes and culture are preferable, whereas for low technology products the mechanisms are clustered around resource‐based approaches.

Research limitations/implications

Multiple cases do not permit as much depth as the classic single case study and tend to yield “modest” rather than “grand” theoretical development. The use of scaling to convert qualitative data into quantitative data, and the identification of patterns in cross‐case analysis are both based on interpretive judgements. Future research should examine the proposed model and its constructs in different settings and using alternative research methods. There is also an opportunity to explore the relationships between the integration mechanisms and the outcomes of integration projects, and finally, it would be useful to extend the work to service settings and to integration of process technology.

Practical implications

The findings provide guidance to managers in selecting alternative approaches to managing the process of technology integration in different contexts. Examples are given of practices associated with each integration mechanism, together with some of the tensions and challenges which arise during implementation.

Originality/value

The paper provides clear guidance on the approaches that can be used for technology integration for product development. It classifies these according to the level of maturity and experience in the organization and the level of advancement of the product offered by the technology.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article

Saurabh Tiwari

The current industrial revolution is powered by data, which is also referred as Industry 4.0. The Industry 4.0 has attracted significant attention from academia and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The current industrial revolution is powered by data, which is also referred as Industry 4.0. The Industry 4.0 has attracted significant attention from academia and the industry professionals. The supply chain integration (SCI) has played a significant role in enhancing supply chain performance and organizational performance. This study explores the relationship between Industry 4.0 and SCI via an extensive literature review to understand the various levels of integration with the supply chain processes and to identify missing links, through a framework, and suggest further research directions.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, we have used systematic literature review approach to identify the building blocks of the conceptual framework, which is the main contribution of the present study. We have used Scopus database to search literature using keywords.

Findings

The study offers some interesting insights that may help scholars to advance theoretical debates. Moreover, the study also provides interesting direction to the practitioners engaged in supply chain management in data-driven environment. In this study, we have proposed a conceptual framework for the adoption of Industry 4.0 and SCI.

Research limitations/implications

In this study we have proposed a conceptual framework. However, the framework is yet to be empirically tested. Hence, we caution readers to evaluate the findings of the present study in context to its limitations. This is an attempt to develop a conceptual framework which may be tested using longitudinal data.

Originality/value

The present work helps in integrating two independent subjects', i.e. Industry 4.0 and SCI. The theoretical framework presented here integrates Industry 4.0 and SCI which can be useful to the practitioners and policymakers engaged in implementing Industry 4.0.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Book part

Riitta Katila, Raymond E. Levitt and Dana Sheffer

The authors provide new quantitative evidence of the relationship between technologies and organizational design in the context of complex one-off products. The systems…

Abstract

The authors provide new quantitative evidence of the relationship between technologies and organizational design in the context of complex one-off products. The systems that produce complex, one-off products in mature, fragmented industries such as construction lack many of the typical organizational features that researchers have deemed critical to product development success (e.g., team familiarity, frequent communication, and strong leadership). In contrast, the complexity of these products requires a diverse knowledge base that is rarely found within a single firm. The one-off nature of construction’s products further requires improvization and development by a distributed network of highly specialized teams. And because the product is complex, significant innovations in the end product require systemic shifts in the product architecture. Riitta Katila, Raymond E. Levitt and Dana Sheffer use an original, hand-collected dataset of the design and construction of 112 energy-efficient “green” buildings in the United States, combined with in-depth fieldwork, to study these questions. A key conclusion is that the mature US construction industry, with its particularly fragmented supply chain, is not well suited to implementing “systemic innovations” that require coordination across trades or stages of the project. However, project integration across specialists with the highest levels of interdependence (i.e., craft, contract integration) mitigates the knowledge and coordination problems. There are implications for research on how technology shapes organizations (and particularly how organizations shape technology), and on the supply chain configuration strategies of firms in the construction industry as well as building owners who are seeking to build the best buildings possible within their budgets.

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Book part

Md Shah Azam

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to…

Abstract

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).

The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.

This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.

Details

E-Services Adoption: Processes by Firms in Developing Nations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-325-9

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Article

Mats Ahlskog, Jessica Bruch and Mats Jackson

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze knowledge integration in manufacturing technology development projects required to build competitive advantages.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze knowledge integration in manufacturing technology development projects required to build competitive advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal case study has been conducted at a Swedish manufacturing company by following a manufacturing technology development project in real time during a two-year period.

Findings

The results show that three different knowledge integration processes exist when developing unique manufacturing technology: processes for capturing, for joint learning, and for absorb learning. The findings of the current research suggest that the three knowledge integration processes are highly interrelated with each knowledge integration process affecting the other two.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of the research is primarily associated with the single case, which limits generalizability outside the context that was studied.

Practical implications

The findings are particularly relevant to manufacturing engineers working with the development of new manufacturing technologies. By using relevant knowledge integration processes and capabilities required to integrate the knowledge in manufacturing technology development projects, companies can improve design and organize the development of manufacturing technology.

Originality/value

Previous research has merely noted that knowledge integration is required in the development of unique manufacturing technology, but without explaining how and in what way. This paper’s contribution is the identification and analysis of three knowledge integration processes that contribute to the building of competitive advantages by developing unique manufacturing technology and new knowledge.

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Article

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

Keywords

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Article

Muhammad Rafi, Zheng JianMing and Khurshid Ahmad

In the age of knowledge explosion, modern technology facilitates the acquisition, organization and effective dissemination of information to support academic research. To…

Abstract

Purpose

In the age of knowledge explosion, modern technology facilitates the acquisition, organization and effective dissemination of information to support academic research. To achieve long-term educational goals, integrating digital resources into a knowledge management model (KMM) has become a necessary prerequisite for university management. The proposed KMM aims to combine resources and technology to facilitate resource management, navigation and cross-database search for advanced research.

Design/methodology/approach

The published literature on digital resource integration was reviewed, and the status of resource organization was discussed with experts to compile research instruments together with the perspectives of serving professionals in universities. The data obtained was systematically processed to develop an integrated resource KMM. Data volume measurement was done with the SPSS software and AMOS was used for path analysis and modeling. After the conceptual model was developed, many assumptions were associated with it, and the software was run on the data set to validate the proposed theoretical model.

Findings

Library resources with four components (digital resources, information technology, financial planning and service promotion) have been successfully integrated into the knowledge management framework to organize resources and provide academic services for researchers. In addition to the organization of digital resources, the two components of knowledge management, such as the explicit knowledge of its technology-oriented nature and the tacit knowledge of its human-centered positions, remained useful to strengthen the integration process.

Practical implications

With the development of digital technology and the internet, information authentication, access and dissemination have become a complex task for information centers. As an integral part of modern digital libraries, the expansion of digital collections requires proper accessibility organization. Owing to the increasing number of digital resources, organization and management require thorough research and appropriate integration mechanisms. This integrated KMM helps to organize heterogeneous information resources and databases in libraries for long-term academic tasks.

Originality/value

Based on literature studies and discussions with academic experts, integration problems were identified, and raw data were obtained from the library management to find a solution. It is unique research owing to a lack of original work and extensive international literature on resource integration in connection with KMMs. This study has innovative findings that can add value to world literature.

Details

Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

Keywords

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Article

George K. Chako

Briefly reviews previous literature by the author before presenting an original 12 step system integration protocol designed to ensure the success of companies or…

Abstract

Briefly reviews previous literature by the author before presenting an original 12 step system integration protocol designed to ensure the success of companies or countries in their efforts to develop and market new products. Looks at the issues from different strategic levels such as corporate, international, military and economic. Presents 31 case studies, including the success of Japan in microchips to the failure of Xerox to sell its invention of the Alto personal computer 3 years before Apple: from the success in DNA and Superconductor research to the success of Sunbeam in inventing and marketing food processors: and from the daring invention and production of atomic energy for survival to the successes of sewing machine inventor Howe in co‐operating on patents to compete in markets. Includes 306 questions and answers in order to qualify concepts introduced.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 12 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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Article

Anders Drejer

Increasing competition at product, firm, and industry level makes it more and more important to be able to develop new products and – at the same time – develop the…

Abstract

Increasing competition at product, firm, and industry level makes it more and more important to be able to develop new products and – at the same time – develop the necessary new technologies for producing those new products. In this paper we shall take a look at how four firms go about integrating their product and technology development. This serves as the basis of a model for this kind of integration and a general definition of possible means for integrating product and technology development.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article

Vikram Bhakoo, Prakash Jagat Singh and Austin Chia

The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of how the supply chain structure (i.e. degree of vertical integration) of a focal organization shapes the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of how the supply chain structure (i.e. degree of vertical integration) of a focal organization shapes the breadth of its portfolio of technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, three case studies were conducted involving key players in the Australian mass grocery retail sector. Each had a distinct supply chain structure (i.e. totally vertically disintegrated, partially vertically integrated and totally vertically integrated). Each supply chain case study included manufacturers or suppliers, transport and logistics service providers, wholesalers/distributors, as well as the mass grocery retail organizations. Interviews with key personnel from these organizations and other relevant information informed the findings and conclusions.

Findings

The information technologies employed by the three focal case organizations and their extended trading partners varied in terms of level, type, complexity and sophistication. The authors highlight how the choice of supply chain technologies is affected by supply chain structure (extent of vertical integration). The authors found that disintegrated supply chain structures have a broader portfolio of technologies, whereas integrated supply chains have a narrow portfolio.

Research limitations/implications

This study is confined to three organizations in the Australian mass grocery retail sector, so any extensions should be made with caution.

Practical implications

The framework presented in this study can guide organizations in assessing the appropriateness of their supply chain portfolios of technologies with the structure of their supply chains. For standard setting bodies, the findings of this study suggest that technologies need to be tailored to the requirements of the supply chains, with the level of vertical integration being one easy way to segment the supply chain types.

Originality/value

The study adapts and extends the “arcs of integration” framework. The propositions enhance the understanding of how supply chain structure, in the form of degree of vertical integration influences an organization’s supply chain portfolio of technologies.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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