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Technology adoption by apparel manufacturers in Tirupur town, India

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine the status of technology adoption of Indian apparel manufacturing firms and the organizational factors that affect the level of technology adoption. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Fourteen technologies applicable to apparel manufacturing were examined. A survey with an online questionnaire to apparel manufacturers in India was conducted to collect the data. Findings ‐ The most frequently adopted technology was the internet. The least frequently adopted technologies found in this study were robot-related. The level of a firm's technology adoption was found to be significantly related to firm size positively and its export orientation negatively. It was also moderately related to competitive advantage. The effects of top management commitment, cost of capital, and technical skills were not significant. Research limitations/implications ‐ Generalizability of the results is cautioned because the data were from the firms in one industrial town. The results indicate that technology adoption is related to the recent, intensified trade competition. The relationships among export orientation, price competition, and technology adoption need to be studied further. Originality/value ‐ Given the importance of upgrading in today's competitive global trade environment, this study builds a knowledge base of the technology adoption in apparel manufacturing and influential factors in developing countries.

Keywords: Garment industry; India; Production innovation; Textile manufacturing processes

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13612020910957716

Publication date: May 8, 2009

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