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In this paper, we distinguish between the internal and external means by which manufacturing plants engage in process technology development. While computerized and equipment-based advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) are typically sourced from external vendors, plants also develop proprietary process technologies in-house. We present internal process technology development (IPTD) as a construct that captures this internal means of process technology development, and investigate the individual and interaction effects of IPTD and externally sourced computerized and equipment-based AMT on manufacturing plant performance. Our results indicate that IPTD is positively associated with quality, delivery, and process flexibility, but it is not significantly associated with cost efficiency or new product flexibility. The indicated relationships between the use of specific types of AMT (process, design, and planning AMT) and manufacturing plant performance and between IPTD-AMT interactions and manufacturing plant performance suggest context specificity. In addition, the findings suggest the existence of complementarities as well as the redundancies among IPTD-AMT relationships.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2007