Title: The relationship of integration and automation under an uncertain environment: a SEM model

Authors: Qiang Tu, Kun Liao, Yulong Li

Addresses: E. Philip Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA. ' College of Business, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA 98926, USA. ' Gabelli School of Business, Roger Williams University, One Old Ferry Rd, Bristol, RI 02809, USA

Abstract: Under a uncertain environment (i.e., growing global competition, changing customer demand, shorter product life cycles, and increasing market diversity), two manufacturing strategies often emerge: manufacturing technology automation and manufacturing system integration. Existing case studies indicate that firms should adapt manufacturing integration first and then automate the manufacturing system to improve manufacturing performance. Using 288 responses from manufacturing managers, the findings of this study empirically supports this proposition. Analytical results also show that the combination strategies of manufacturing system integration followed by manufacturing technology automation have more than twice the effect on manufacturing performance than using manufacturing automation strategy alone.

Keywords: environmental uncertainty; manufacturing performance; manufacturing system integration; automation; automtated manufacturing technology; AMT; uncertain business environments; manufacturing strategy; manufacturing integration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2011.041876

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2011 Vol.22 No.4, pp.344 - 361

Received: 26 Nov 2009
Accepted: 10 Jun 2010

Published online: 27 Nov 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article