CADCAM integration and the practical politics of technological change

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Organizational Change Management, 2001, 14 (1), pp. 9 - 27
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Discusses the issue of computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CADCAM) integration from an organizational point of view. The installation of cross-functional integrating technology in manufacturing organizations involves technical problems related to hardware, software and database interfacing, as well as data exchange and communication requirements. Such technical problems are perhaps more obvious and widely recognised than the organizational challenges involved in the process of organizational change that accompanies implementation. This paper uses a case study approach to analyse data gathered from two UK manufacturing companies over a five-year period. The aim here is to compare and contrast the experiences of the two companies with a view to explaining how organizational processes contribute or otherwise to the adoption of CADCAM integration as a business strategy. A conceptual model is devised to analyse the data from the cases using a grounded qualitative research methodology. It is concluded that the crucial technological change competencies are political rather than either technological or economic. Some tactical elements of these are elaborated from the case studies.
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