Us and Japanese Perceptions of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies: Revitalizing the Convergence/Divergence Debate

IB-94-2

Posted: 22 Aug 1998

See all articles by Allan Bird

Allan Bird

University of Missouri at Saint Louis - College of Business Administration; Northeastern University - International Business & Strategy

Suresh Kotha

Foster School of Business

Abstract

In this study we investigate the perceptions of US and Japanese managers toward advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) using data collected from l60 American Firms and l25 Japanese firms. We examine the importance managers from these countries attribute to l8 AMTs such as computer-aided design and flexible manufacturing systems in light of two competing theses--convergence and divergence. The convergence thesis asserts that imperatives of technology homogenize social organization across nations ultimately leading to similar ways of thinking. In contrast, the divergence thesis argues that a society's cultural influences on organizations and ways of thinking are prepotent to those of technology. We propose a model of cognitive categorization to explain the extent to which cognitions might differ as well as why and how this might occur and then analyze the survey data using t-tests and factor analysis. Our results indicate similarity along some AMT dimensions, suggesting support for the convergence thesis, and differences along other AMT dimensions, lending support for the divergence thesis. Based on these findings, we explore the implications for international management and for future international management research.

JEL Classification: O32

Suggested Citation

Bird, Allan and Kotha, Suresh, Us and Japanese Perceptions of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies: Revitalizing the Convergence/Divergence Debate. IB-94-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=6888

Allan Bird

University of Missouri at Saint Louis - College of Business Administration ( email )

One University Blvd.
487 SSB
St. Louis, MO 63121
United States

Northeastern University - International Business & Strategy ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

Suresh Kotha (Contact Author)

Foster School of Business ( email )

University of Washington
Seattle, WA
United States
206-543-4466 (Phone)
206-683-9392 (Fax)

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