International Differences in the Adoption and Impact of New Information Technologies and New Hr Practices: The Valve-Making Industry in the U.S. And U.K

35 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2007 Last revised: 3 Apr 2015

See all articles by Ann P. Bartel

Ann P. Bartel

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Casey Ichniowski

Columbia Business School - Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kathryn L. Shaw

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ricardo Correa

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Date Written: November 2007

Abstract

This paper compares the impact of new IT-enhanced technology on the efficiency of production in the U.S. and the U.K. for one manufacturing industry, valve manufacturing. There is a long-standing question of whether technological change and organizational changes have the same rates of adoption and impact internationally. We have assembled a unique dataset on plants in one narrowly defined industry -- valve manufacturing -- in both the U.S. and U.K to consider whether plants outside of the U.S. gain as much from IT as U.S. plants. We find that, despite differences in the current and historical patterns of institutions in the U.S. and U.K., both countries exhibit comparable patterns of gains to IT at the plant level. The impact of new IT-enhanced technology on the efficiency of production is virtually identical in the two countries. In addition, as a result of the adoption of the new technology, plants in both countries have shifted production to customized products. Finally, we find that, in both countries, the adoption of the new IT-enhanced technology coincides with increases in the skill requirements of machine operators, notably technical and problem-solving skills, and with the adoption of new human resource practices to support these skills.

Suggested Citation

Bartel, Ann P. and Ichniowski, Bernard E. (Casey) and Shaw, Kathryn L. and Correa, Ricardo, International Differences in the Adoption and Impact of New Information Technologies and New Hr Practices: The Valve-Making Industry in the U.S. And U.K (November 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13651. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1037173

Ann P. Bartel (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Bernard E. (Casey) Ichniowski

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kathryn L. Shaw

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ricardo Correa

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

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