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Implications of organization and human behaviour on the implementation of CIM in SMEs: an empirical analysis

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Computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) requires cross-functional co-operation, and involvement of employees in product and process development. A successful CIM initiative in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) must have top management involvement and commitment and a CIM compatible organizational infrastructure which includes requisite skills, appropriate training and education, and adequate incentives and rewards. Top management must commit the resources necessary to acquire needed technology and bring about any necessary changes in the organizational infrastructure. Top management must likewise be willing to accept the long-term consequences of their decisions. SMEs play an increasingly important role in the competitiveness of many industries in the areas of product and process innovation, flexibility, and in the development of innovative management methods, organizational conventions, and human resource practices. One of the ways that SMEs can achieve a competitive advantage in manufacturing is through the implementation of CIM. To promote a better understanding of organizational issues pertaining to the implementation of CIM in SMEs, a framework is proposed for use in examining and explaining the organizational ramifications of CIM. A literature review and an empirical study provide the foundation for the proposed framework.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Management, University of Massachusetts, North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300, USA 2: Department of Systems Engineering, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK 3: Department of Business and Economics, Arkansas Technological University, Russellville, AR 72801, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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