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What makes the Difference between Unsuccessful and Successful Firms in the German Mechanical Engineering Industry?

Author

Listed:
  • Ulrich Widmaier
  • Hiltrud Niggemann
  • Joachim Merz

    () (LEUPHANA University Lüneburg,Department of Economic, Behaviour and Law Sciences, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)))

Abstract

Against a background of rising costs and increasing competition, it is besoming more and more difficult for the small and medium-sized firms of the German mechanical engineering industry to be economically successful. The thesis that rapidly changing markets, products and production processes cause serious economic problems for these firms is, however, a proposition on an average trend. A substantial number of firms are not only capable of coping with these conditions and challenges, but are even able to expand their business activities, including employment. We may hypothesize that their product and market strategies as well as their internal mode of operation and organization differs significantly from those firms doing economically less well. In order to test the significance of factors which could lead to different levels of success, operationalized with data of the NIFA panel the method of static microsimulation is applied using the program MICSIM. This particular method offers the possibility of reweighting the information contained in micro datasets according to restrictions given by aggregated data (i.e. marginal distributions). The latter will be chosen in such a way that the number of firms with properties (strategies), hypothetically leading to success in terms of lower excess capacity, are 'artificially', increased in the sample. The research goal is to find out whether such hypothetical strategies are supported by the data. The basic finding that certain complex strategies are more often successful demonstrates that unidimensional approaches to modernize production are of less value. Only in those strategies wehere organization of production, technical equipment, degree of vertical integration, products and customers are part of an intergrated innovational strategy, is success most likely to be fuelled.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Widmaier & Hiltrud Niggemann & Joachim Merz, 1994. "What makes the Difference between Unsuccessful and Successful Firms in the German Mechanical Engineering Industry?," FFB-Discussionpaper 11, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
  • Handle: RePEc:leu:wpaper:11
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    File URL: http://www.leuphana.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Forschungseinrichtungen/ffb/files/publikationen/diskussion/DP_11_engineering_industry.pdf
    File Function: First version, 1994
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Merz, Joachim, 1994. "Microdata Adjustment by the Minimum Information Loss Principle," MPRA Paper 7231, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Merz, Joachim & Garner, Thesia & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Faik, Jürgen & Johnson, David, 1994. "Two Scales, One Methodology - Expenditure Based Equivalence Scales for the United States and Germany," MPRA Paper 7233, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Merz, Joachim, 1994. "Microsimulation - A Survey of Methods and Applications for Analyzing Economic and Social Policy," MPRA Paper 7232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Widmaier, Ulrich & Niggemann, Hiltrud & Merz, Joachim, 1994. "What makes the Difference between Unsuccessful and Successful Firms in the German Mechanical Engineering Industry?," MPRA Paper 7230, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Joachim Merz, 1992. "Time Use Dynamics in Paid Work and Household Activities of Married Women - A Panel Analysis with Household Information and Regional Labour Demand," FFB-Discussionpaper 02, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
    6. Merz, Joachim, 1991. "Microsimulation -- A survey of principles, developments and applications," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 77-104, May.
    7. Joachim Merz, 1993. "Statistik und Freie Berufe im Rahmen einer empirischen Wirtschafts- und Sozialforschung," FFB-Discussionpaper 04, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
    8. Joachim Merz, 1993. "Market and Non-market Labor Supply and Recent German Tax Reform Impacts - Behavioral Response in a Combined Dynamic and Static Microsimulation Model," FFB-Discussionpaper 06, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
    9. Merz, Joachim, 1993. "Microsimulation as an Instrument to Evaluate Economic and Social Programmes," MPRA Paper 7236, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Merz, Joachim & Faik, Jürgen, 1994. "Equivalence Scales Based on Revealed Preference Consumption Expenditure Microdata - The Case of West Germany," MPRA Paper 16297, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Merz, Joachim & Wolff, Klaus G, 1993. "The Shadow Economy: Illicit Work and Household Production: A Microanalysis of West Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(2), pages 177-194, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Merz, Joachim, 1995. "MICSIM : Concept, Developments and Applications of a PC-Microsimulation Model for Research and Teaching," MPRA Paper 16029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Joachim Merz & Henning Stolze, 2005. "Representative Time Use Data and Calibration of the American Time Use Studies 1965-1999," FFB-Discussionpaper 54, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg, revised Jan 2006.
    3. Widmaier, Ulrich & Niggemann, Hiltrud & Merz, Joachim, 1994. "What makes the Difference between Unsuccessful and Successful Firms in the German Mechanical Engineering Industry?," MPRA Paper 7230, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Fleischer, Manfred, 1997. "The inefficiency trap: strategy failure in the German machine tool industry," EconStor Books, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 122877, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic succes; NIFA PANEL; microsimulation; engineering;

    JEL classification:

    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics

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