Title: Agile manufacturing and technology transfer to industrialising countries

Authors: Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Sirp de Boer

Addresses: Department of Management, College of Business and Public Administration, Eastern Washington University, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd, Spokane, WA 99202, USA. Technology and Development Group, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: One of the requirements of agile manufacturing, the necessity to gain flexibility, can be reached by using a supplier network. A possible way to develop a supplier network is by subcontracting to parties in industrialising countries. In most cases, it is necessary to transfer technology. The aircraft industry is an industry in which such technology transfer frequently takes place. This research project examined the process and consequences of technology transfer in the field of manufacturing. Four case studies were carried out in the aircraft industry. The case studies showed that there are two types of technology transfer technology selling and technology sharing. Technology sharing frequently takes place in the aircraft industry. The results indicate that ||Destination Companies|| hardly benefited technologically from technology sharing because the Destination Company is selected for its existing capabilities. In addition, it is questionable whether production technology transfer contributes to economic growth for industrially developing countries. ||Source Companies|| that want to work towards agile manufacturing have limited options for technology transfer towards industrially developing countries due to the requirements placed upon the capabilities of the Destination Company and the infrastructure requirements for countries.

Keywords: international technology transfer; economic development; aircraft industry; agile manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2003.003141

International Journal of Technology Management, 2003 Vol.26 No.1, pp.20-27

Published online: 12 Jul 2003 *

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