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Impediments to Advanced Technology Adoption for Canadian Manufacturers

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  • Baldwin, John R.
  • Lin, Zhengxi

Abstract

Using survey data, this paper investigates problems that firms in the Canadian manufacturing sector face in their decision to adopt advanced technology. The data show that while the use of advanced technology is relatively important (users account for over 80% of all shipments), it is not widespread among firms (users represent only about one-third of all establishments). One explanation lies in the fact that while advanced technologies provide a wide range of benefits, firms also face a series of problems that impede them from adopting advanced technology. These impediments fall into five groups: cost-related, institution-related, labour-related, organization-related, and information-related. While it might be expected that impediments would be higher for non-users than users of technologies, the opposite occurs. We posit that the reason for this is that innovation involves a learning process. Innovators and technology users face problems that they have to solve and the more innovative firms have greater problems. We test this by examining the factors that are related to whether a firm reports that it faced impediments. Our multivariate analysis reveals that impediments are reported more frequently among technology users than non-users; and more frequently among innovating firms than non-innovating ones. We conclude that the information on impediments in technology and other related surveys (innovation) should not be interpreted as impenetrable barriers that prevent technology adoption. Rather, these surveys indicate areas where successful firms face and solve problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Baldwin, John R. & Lin, Zhengxi, 2001. "Impediments to Advanced Technology Adoption for Canadian Manufacturers," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001173e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2001173e
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baldwin, John R. & Hanel, Peter & Sabourin, David, 2000. "Determinants of Innovative Activity in Canadian Manufacturing Firms: The Role of Intellectual Property Rights," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000122e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. Jan Fagerberg, 1988. "International Competitiveness," Working Papers Archives 1988001, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    3. Fagerberg, Jan, 1988. "International Competitiveness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 355-374, June.
    4. Baldwin, John R. & Johnson, Joanne, 1995. "Business Strategies in Innovative and Non-innovative Firms in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995073e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    5. Baldwin, John R. & Diverty, Brent, 1995. "Advanced Technology Use in Canadian Manufacturing Establishments," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995085e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Baldwin, John R. & Sabourin, David, 1999. "Technology Adoption: A Comparison Between Canada and the United States," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998119e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    7. Baldwin, John R., 1995. "Innovation: The Key to Success in Small Firms," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995076e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    8. Baldwin, John R. & Yates, Janice, 1999. "Innovation, Training and Success," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1999137e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    9. Baldwin, John R. & Diverty, Brent & Sabourin, David, 1995. "Technology Use and Industrial Transformation: Empirical Perspectives," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995075e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    10. Gellatly, Guy, 2000. "Differences in Innovator and Non-innovator Profiles: Small Establishments in Business Services," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000143e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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