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Characterizing the Economic Value of Organizational Learning in Semiconductor Manufacturing

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1 Author(s)
Weber, C.M. ; Dept. of Eng. & Technol. Manage., Portland State Univ., Portland, OR, USA

This paper describes an empirical study that assesses the economic value of various forms of organizational learning that are common in semiconductor manufacturing. This study considers three business environments: very large-scale integrated circuits, commodity components, and specialty parts with high value added. This study finds that the economic value of organizational learning varies over time, the relative economic value of different learning practices varies over time, the external economic environment strongly influences the economic value of different learning practices, the economic value of learning can be positive or negative, and the synergy between different kinds of learning can be positive or negative. The primary contribution of this paper is an empirically grounded model of organizational learning in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, which potentially enhances the profitability of semiconductor manufacturing ventures. The model helps practicing managers make investment decisions through scenario planning and identifies learning strategies that are tailored to their particular economic environment. This paper also provides insight into the structure of technological knowledge in semiconductor manufacturing, which has historically been treated as a black box.

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Semiconductor Manufacturing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 1 )