A view of developing patterns of investment in AMT through empirical taxonomies: new evidence

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In line with the theoretical premises of the research, the aim of this paper is two-fold: firstly, to determine whether there are different patterns of advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) investment behavior in the Andalusian aeronautical industry that can be associated with different technology strategies, as in other sectors and geographical areas and, secondly, to identify possible similarities or differences from previous research, such as Boyer et al. [J. Operations Manage. 14 (4) (1996) 297–313] and Jonsson [Int. J. Operations Production Manage. 20 (12) (2000) 1446–1474]. A survey of the 20 plants in the population was conducted via postal questionnaire between July 1999 and April 2001, with a structured interview being held at a later date. A cluster analysis was performed which allowed a taxonomy with three groups of plants to be established: traditionalists, designers and investors. These three groups differ from each other with regard to their AMT investments, industrial activity, size and degree of integration. Differences between the groups in company performance cannot be appreciated. Although the results apparently seem to back up most of the findings of previous works biased to larger companies, they do bring certain aspects into question regarding the explanation for the way the groups are formed. The three critical factors which determine AMT investment in the sector are the company’s being of a certain minimum size, undergoing a period of expansion, and type of activity.
Advanced manufacturing technologies, Technology management, Operations strategy
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Journal of operations management, 2003, v. 21, nº 5, pp. 577-606