NEW TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION BY FIRMS

In this study the determinants of the adoption of new technology are explored by using data obtained from a 1993 survey of 299 manufacturing establishments in the state of West Virginia. The use of twenty hardware-based and organizational new technologies, aggregate use of technology, and plans for future use of technology are examined. Multivariate regression analyses indicate that larger, export-oriented, branch plants that manufacture products in long production runs and plants that are located in counties with a sizable manufacturing sector adopt more new technologies than do other types of plants. The results also suggest that there is a possible role for further government policy in encouraging plant modernization. Although participation in a state technology-assistance program is not yet associated with higher aggregate levels of use of new technology, it is found to be associated with the adoption of specific technologies and receptivity to investment in new technology. The results of the study also confirm the value of training and suggest that a strategy of targeting smaller and medium-sized plants with services focused on multiple clustered locations may be effective in stimulating the use of new technology among these manufacturers.

Sources:

Rephann, Terance and Philip Shapira. 1996. The adoption of new technology in West Virginia: Implications for manufacturing modernization policies. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. 14: 431-450.

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