The use and deployment of soft process technologies within UK manufacturing SMEs: An empirical assessment using logit models
Mole, K. F., Ghobadian, A., O'Regan, N. and Liu, J. (2004) The use and deployment of soft process technologies within UK manufacturing SMEs: An empirical assessment using logit models. Journal of Small Business Management, 42 (3). pp. 303-324. ISSN 1540-627X
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-627X.2004.00113.x
This study assesses the adoption of different soft process technologies from a survey of 218 British engineering and electronics small and medium-sized firms (SMEs). The new process (soft) technologies that were modeled included total quality management, Kaizan, and statistical process control. Logit models demonstrate that the determinants of soft process technology adoption vary significantly from technology to technology. The study questions a blanket approach to technology adoption. Firm-specific factors make a larger difference to the adoption of process technologies than competitive factors. While on the whole small firms are slow to adopt new techniques, this does not hold for all technologies, and future research might investigate what technologies SMEs adopt and why. Benchmarking, suggestions schemes, problem-solving techniques and ISO 9000 adoption was unrelated to firm size, which holds out the prospect of soft process technologies as an alternative technological path for small firm productivity growth.