Impacts of Information Technology on Mass Customization Capability of Manufacturing Plants
David Xiaosong Peng
University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business; Texas A&M University - Department of Information & Operations Management
Gensheng Jason Liu
University of Memphis
Gregory R. Heim
Texas A&M University - Department of Information & Operations Management
February 17, 2011
International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Forthcoming
Purpose – The impact of information technology (IT) on mass customization (MC) capability has been implied in the literature but seldom subjected to empirical examination. This study theoretically relates four types of IT applications with MC capability and empirically examines these relationships.
Design/methodology/approach – This study identifies four types of IT that potentially support MC capability, including product configurator IT, new product development IT, manufacturing IT, and supplier collaboration IT. Drawing on organizational information processing theory, this study associates the four IT types with a manufacturer’s MC capability. A structural equation model is tested using survey data collected from a sample of manufacturing plants that focus on product customization.
Findings – The empirical results indicate that three of the four IT types either strongly or marginally support a manufacturer’s MC capability.
Research limitations/implications – Data used in this study are cross-sectional in nature. Also, a set of refined IT measures should be developed in future studies.
Practical implications – The paper identifies managerial opportunities for investing in IT to support or enhance MC capability.
Originality/value – The study is one of the first efforts to empirically examine the impact of multiple types of IT applications on MC capability. The study also develops a classification framework of IT applications in manufacturing plants.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: Mass Customization, Operations Management-Information Systems Interface, Modular Design, Survey Research
JEL Classification: D20, M11, M, L6, O3Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 21, 2011 ; Last revised: October 18, 2011
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