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Productivity and Information Technology: The Elusive Connection

Author

Listed:
  • Maryellen R. Kelley

    (H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-3890)

Abstract

This study analyzes the effect of information technology on the efficiency of production operations in a specific manufacturing process. Survey data from 584 establishments engaged in the machining process in 21 different industries are used to construct and test an empirical model that takes into account product characteristics, the type of technology (computer-programmable automation or conventionally controlled) machines, the extent of technological change at the plant, process-specific characteristics such as the scale of operations and degree of customization, labor policies, and structural features of the organization of work. The results indicate that there is a significant efficiency advantage from using programmable automation technology and that technological advantages accumulate with experience and with the repeated opportunities for learning associated with large volume and frequent product changes. The most efficient use of this technology occurs in plants with work practices that involve a higher ratio of machines to workers (as in a cellular approach to manufacturing) and allow production workers to perform programming tasks to a greater degree. Unionized plants are also significantly more efficient than non-union plants.

Suggested Citation

  • Maryellen R. Kelley, 1994. "Productivity and Information Technology: The Elusive Connection," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(11), pages 1406-1425, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:40:y:1994:i:11:p:1406-1425
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.40.11.1406
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Laitner & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2003. "Technological Change and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1240-1267, September.
    2. Polák, Petr, 2017. "The productivity paradox: A meta-analysis," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 38-54.
    3. Heine, Michelle Lane & Grover, Varun & Malhotra, Manoj K., 2003. "The relationship between technology and performance: a meta-analysis of technology models," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 189-204, June.
    4. Waverly W. Ding & Sharon G. Levin & Paula E. Stephan & Anne E. Winkler, 2010. "The Impact of Information Technology on Academic Scientists' Productivity and Collaboration Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(9), pages 1439-1461, September.
    5. Maryellen R. Kelley & Cynthia R. Cook, 1998. "The Institutional Context and Manufacturing Performance: The Case of the U.S. Defense Industrial Network," NBER Working Papers 6460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. António Madureira & Nico Baken & Harry Bouwman, 2011. "Value of digital information networks: a holonic framework," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-30, April.
    7. Ding, Waverly W. & Levin, Sharon G. & Stephan, Paula E. & Winkler, Ann E., 2009. "The Impact of Information Technology on Scientists’ Productivity, Quality and Collaboration Patterns," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt80n3512q, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    8. Martinez-Lorente, Angel R. & Sanchez-Rodriguez, Cristobal & Dewhurst, Frank W., 2004. "The effect of information technologies on TQM: An initial analysis," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 77-93, May.
    9. Guido Schryen, 2010. "Preserving Knowledge on IS Business Value," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 2(4), pages 233-244, August.
    10. Radhakrishnan, Abirami & Zu, Xingxing & Grover, Varun, 2008. "A process-oriented perspective on differential business value creation by information technology: An empirical investigation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1105-1125, December.
    11. Zand, Fardad & Van Beers, Cees & Van Leeuwen, George, 2011. "Information technology, organizational change and firm productivity: A panel study of complementarity effects and clustering patterns in Manufacturing and Services," MPRA Paper 46469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Nuri Ersahin, 2017. "Creditor Rights, Technology Adoption, and Productivity: Plant-Level Evidence," Working Papers 17-36, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Kelley, Maryellen R. & Arora, Ashish, 1996. "The role of institution-building in US industrial modernization programs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 265-279, March.
    14. Sarv Devaraj & Rajiv Kohli, 2003. "Performance Impacts of Information Technology: Is Actual Usage the Missing Link?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 273-289, March.
    15. Rajiv D. Banker & Robert J. Kauffman, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: The Evolution of Research on Information Systems: A Fiftieth-Year Survey of the Literature in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 281-298, March.
    16. Guodong (Gordon) Gao & Lorin M. Hitt, 2012. "Information Technology and Trademarks: Implications for Product Variety," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(6), pages 1211-1226, June.
    17. Jones, Derek C. & Kalmi, Panu & Kauhanen, Antti, 2011. "Firm and employee effects of an enterprise information system: Micro-econometric evidence," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 159-168, April.
    18. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
    19. repec:spr:infosf:v:5:y:2003:i:3:d:10.1023_a:1025605529006 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Evelyn J. Barry & Chris F. Kemerer & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2006. "Environmental Volatility, Development Decisions, and Software Volatility: A Longitudinal Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(3), pages 448-464, March.
    21. Morgan, Horatio M. & Ngwenyama, Ojelanki, 2015. "Real options, learning cost and timing software upgrades: Towards an integrative model for enterprise software upgrade decision analysis," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 211-223.
    22. Sundarraj, R. P. & Talluri, Srinivas, 2003. "A multi-period optimization model for the procurement of component-based enterprise information technologies," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 339-351, April.
    23. Fligstein, Neil & Shin, Taek-Jin, 2005. "Shareholder Value and Changes in American Industries, 1984-2000," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt82j7915n, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    24. Fligstein, Neil & Shin, Taek-Jin, 2007. "Shareholder Value and the Transformation of American Industries, 1984-2001," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4r16k6j6, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    25. A. Madureira & F. Hartog & N. Baken, 2016. "A holonic framework to understand and apply information processes in evolutionary economics: survey and proposal," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 157-190, September.

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