Title: Absorptive capacity and the propensity to adopt advanced technology: the case of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) systems

Authors: Yiannis E. Spanos

Addresses: Management Science and Technology Department, Athens University of Economics and Business, 47A Evelpidon and Lefkados 33, 113 62 Athens, Greece

Abstract: This paper examines the role of absorptive capacity (AC) on firms' intentions to adopt computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) systems, a particularly complex class of advanced manufacturing technology (AMT). I develop a simple model in which AC is reflected in the stocks of prior related knowledge the firm has accumulated in the past, arguing that these stocks constitute a sine qua non-condition for overcoming the inevitable knowledge barriers posed by advanced technologies to the adopting organisation. Moreover, I put forward the assertion that AC will moderate the influence posed by external environment on adoption decisions. Based on data collected from a sample of 87 Greek manufacturing SMEs, the results confirm these hypotheses: firms with high stocks of pre-existing AMT knowledge are more likely to adopt CIM systems, and they are also more likely to respond positively in environmental stimuli.

Keywords: absorptive capacity; technology adoption; technological dynamism; competitive hostility; computer integrated manufacturing; CIM; advanced manufacturing technology; AMT; advanced technology; Greece; manufacturing SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises.

DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2012.049993

International Journal of Information Technology and Management, 2012 Vol.11 No.4, pp.323 - 346

Received: 23 Feb 2011
Accepted: 03 Aug 2011

Published online: 22 Oct 2012 *

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