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Process Innovation and Learning by Doing in Semiconductor Manufacturing

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Author Info

  • Nile W. Hatch

    (Department of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois 61820)

  • David C. Mowery

    (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720)

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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes the relationship between process innovation and learning by doing in the semiconductor industry where improvements in manufacturing yield are a catalyst for dynamic cost reductions. In contrast to most previous studies of learning by doing, the learning curve is shown here to be the product of deliberate activities intended to improve yields and reduce costs, rather than the incidental byproduct of production volume. Since some of the knowledge acquired through learning by doing during new process development is specific to the production environment where the process is developed, some knowledge is effectively lost when a new process is transferred to manufacturing. We find that dedicated process development facilities, geographic proximity between development and manufacturing facilities, and the duplication of equipment between development and manufacturing facilities are all significant in improving performance in introducing new technologies. Once in manufacturing, new processes are shown to disrupt the ongoing learning activities of existing processes by drawing away scarce engineering resources to "debug" the new processes.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.44.11.1461
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 44 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 11-Part-1 (November)
    Pages: 1461-1477

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:44:y:1998:i:11-part-1:p:1461-1477

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    Related research

    Keywords: Process Technology Development; Process Technology Transfer; Learning Curves;

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    Cited by:
    1. Nemet, Gregory F., 2009. "Demand-pull, technology-push, and government-led incentives for non-incremental technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 700-709, June.
    2. Cefis, Elena & Marsili, Orietta, 2012. "Going, going, gone. Exit forms and the innovative capabilities of firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 795-807.
    3. David Besanko & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2005. "Learning-by-Doing, Organizational Forgetting, and Industry Dynanmics," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 236, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. Shepherd, Dean A. & Douglas, Evan J. & Shanley, Mark, 2000. "New venture survival: Ignorance, external shocks, and risk reduction strategies," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 393-410.
    5. Demeester, Lieven L. & Qi, Mei, 2005. "Managing learning resources for consecutive product generations," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 265-283, February.
    6. Roberts, Peter W. & McEvily, Susan, 2005. "Product-line expansion and resource cannibalization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 49-70, May.
    7. David Besanko & Ulrich Doraszelski & Yaroslav Kryukov & Mark Satterthwaite, 2008. "Learning-by-Doing, Organizational Forgetting, and Industry Dynamics," GSIA Working Papers 2009-E22, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    8. Paul A. David, 2011. "Zvi Griliches and the Economics of Technology Diffusion: Adoption of Innovations, Investment Lags, and Productivity Growth," Discussion Papers 10-029, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    9. Siebert, Ralph Bernd, 2010. "Learning-by-Doing and Cannibalization Effects at Multi-Vintage Firms: Evidence from the Semiconductor Industry," MPRA Paper 24008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Marco D. Huesch & Mariko Sakakibara, 2009. "Forgetting the learning curve for a moment: how much performance is un related to own experience?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 855-862.
    11. Ana Aizcorbe & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "Moore's Law and the Semiconductor Industry: A Vintage Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 603-630, December.
    12. Feten Hamama, 2012. "Systemes De Controle Et Processus De Gestion Des Connaissances, Une Illustration Dans Le Secteur De L'Equipement Automobile," Post-Print hal-00691176, HAL.
    13. Masurel, E. & Montfort, K. van & Lentink, R., 2003. "SME innovation and the crucial role of the entrepreneur," Serie Research Memoranda 0001, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    14. Jaber, Mohamad Y. & Guiffrida, Alfred L., 2004. "Learning curves for processes generating defects requiring reworks," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(3), pages 663-672, December.
    15. Ana Aizcorbe, 2005. "Product Introductions and Price Measures for Microprocessor Chips in the 1990s," Industrial Organization 0502004, EconWPA.
    16. Moeen, Mahka & Somaya, Deepak & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2011. "Supply Portfolio Concentration in Outsourced Knowledge-Based Services," Working Papers 11-0106, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    17. Keld Laursen & Francesca Masciarelli, 2007. "The effect of regional social capital and external knowledge acquisition on process and product innovation," ROCK Working Papers 043, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 12 Jun 2008.
    18. Vits, Jeroen & Gelders, Ludo & Pintelon, Liliane, 2006. "Production process changes: A dynamic programming approach to manage effective capacity and experience," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 473-481, December.
    19. Nadeau, Marie-Claude & Kar, Ashish & Roth, Richard & Kirchain, Randolph, 2010. "A dynamic process-based cost modeling approach to understand learning effects in manufacturing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 223-234, November.
    20. Biskup, Dirk & Simons, Dirk, 2004. "Common due date scheduling with autonomous and induced learning," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(3), pages 606-616, December.
    21. Jaber, Mohamad Y. & Sikstrom, Sverker, 2004. "A numerical comparison of three potential learning and forgetting models," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 281-294, December.

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