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original: Lean production systems in regions: Conceptual and measurement requirements

Edward J. Feser (), Alexander Kaufmann () and Edward Bergman ()
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Edward J. Feser: Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3140, USA

The Annals of Regional Science, 1999, vol. 33, issue 4, 389-423

Abstract: Through the increased frequency of modernization and performance benchmarking surveys by development agencies, university researchers, and industry associations, the volume of data on technology adoption trends in manufacturing has increased dramatically. With the growth of data has come an increase in the number of studies that examine regional influences on enterprise-level technology adoption behavior. Unfortunately, most of these studies select either single indicator technologies (e.g., computer numerically controlled machines) or relatively crude summary measures of multiple technologies for use in diffusion models, even though firms typically utilize production technologies in complicated bundles. This paper describes ways of more fully utilizing frequently available but usually unexploited data on multiple technology use by examining rates of joint technology adoption and utilization among enterprises. We also develop alternative prospective indexes of current technology use that might be used as dependent variables in micro-level studies of technology adoption and its regional determinants. In effect, we explore the derivation of measures of process technology sophistication that take better account of the complexity of what may be described as the "technology portfolios" assembled by manufacturing enterprises.

Date: 1999-11-25
Note: Received: April 1997 / Accepted: March 1998
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