Have you ever tried to introduce new technology on the plant floor? Just a guess: everything that could go wrong, did. You developed an action plan, but it proved virtually useless. Of course it did, say these authors. With all the possible problems that can arise, no plan that addresses specific contingencies is adequate. What you need is a plan that emphasizes organizational learning. By systematic learning from every angle, during all phases of implementation and well after, you can not only implement the technology successfully, you can continuously improve all your business processes.
1. A. Majchrzak, The Human Side of Factory Automation (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1988).
2. R.H. Hayes and K.B. Clark, “Why Some Factories Are More Productive Than Others” Harvard Business Review, September–October 1986, pp. 66–73.
3. F.R. Lichtenberg, “Estimation of the Internal Adjustment Costs Model Using Longitudinal Establishment Data,” Review of Economics and Statistics, August 1988, pp. 421–430.
4. On auto components, see:
B.E. Ichniowski, “How Do Labor Relations Matter? A Study of Productivity in Eleven Manufacturing Plants” (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Sloan School of Management, Ph.D. Diss., 1983).
On paper mills, see:
W.B. Chew, “Productivity and Change: Short-Term Effects of Investments on Factory Level Productivity” (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University, Ph.D. Diss., 1986).
On commercial kitchens, see:
W.B. Chew, T.F. Bresnahan, and K.B. Clark, “Measurement, Coordination, and Learning in a Multiplant Network,” in Measures for Manufacturing Excellence, ed. R.S. Kaplan (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1990).
5. R.H. Hayes and K.B. Clark, “Exploring the Sources of Productivity Differences at the Factory Level,” in The Uneasy Alliance, eds. K.B. Clark et al. (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1985).
6. D. Leonard-Barton, “Implementation as Mutual Adaptation of Technology and Organization,” Research Policy 17 (1988): 251–267.
7. R. Jaikumar and R.E. Bohn, “The Development of Intelligent Systems for Industrial Use: A Conceptual Framework,” in Research on Technological Innovation, Management, and Policy, Vol. 3, ed. R. Rosenbloom (Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1986) pp. 169–211.
8. See D. Leonard-Barton, “Implementing New Production Technologies: Exercises in Corporate Learning,” in Managing Complexity in High Technology Industries: Systems and People, eds. M. Von Glinow and S. Mohrman (London: Oxford Press, 1989); and
9. M.J. Tyre and O. Hauptman, “Effectiveness of Organizational Response Mechanisms to Technological Change in the Production Process,” in Organizational Science, forthcoming. This study of forty-eight new process introduction projects in one company showed value for both interfunctional and interorganizational coordination mechanisms for problem solving.
10. Hayes and Clark (1985).
11. Chew et al. (1990).
12. R. Bohn, “Learning by Experimentation in Manufacturing” (Boston: Harvard Business School, Working Paper No. 88-001, 1988).
13. Bohn (1988).
14. D. Leonard-Barton, “The Case for Integrative Innovation: An Expert System at Digital,” Sloan Management Review, Fall 1987, pp. 7–19.
15. R.E. Bohn and R. Jaikumar, “The Dynamic Approach: An Alternative Paradigm for Operations Management,” Proceedings of the ASME Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 1988.
16. See R.S. Kaplan, “Must CIM Be Justified by Faith Alone?” Harvard Business Review, March–April 1986, pp. 87–95.