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An exploratory study of intrafirm process innovations transfer in Asia

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3 Author(s)
Kah-Hin Chai ; Ind. & Syst. Eng. Dept., Nat. Univ. of Singapore, Singapore ; Gregory, M.J. ; Shi, Y.S.

This paper examines how seven process innovations have been shared and adopted (or not adopted) between four factories of a multinational company located in Asia. In contrast to most previous studies in this area, these process innovation diffusions happened in a bottom-up manner in which the decision to share and to adopt is made by the individuals at the sites involved rather than by top management either at a local or corporate level. We observe that the factors enabling or discouraging the adoption of process innovation are highly dynamic. When work priorities shift over time, motivating factors once perceived as primary may become secondary, leading to nonadoption of the innovations. As the engineers face an increasing load of other tasks which also demand time and effort, the decision to adopt the innovation or not seems to depend more on the effort required to adapt the innovation for local use than other factors. Innovations which are highly embedded in the original settings face slimmer chance of adoption by other sites as they are likely to require more effort in adapting them for local use. In contrast, innovations which are less embedded in original settings are more likely to be adopted due to the low adaptation effort needed.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 3 )