Influential Factors of Collaborative Networks in Manufacturing: Validation of a Conceptual Model

Danny Wee Hock Quik, Nevan Wright, Ammar Rashid, Sivadass Thiruchelvam
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 10  •  2015  •  pp. 001-019
The purpose of the study is to identify influential factors in the use of collaborative networks within the context of manufacturing. The study aims to investigate factors that influence employees’ learning, and to bridge the gap between theory and praxis in collaborative networks in manufacturing. The study further extends the boundary of a collaborative network beyond enterprises to include suppliers, customers, and external stakeholders. It provides a holistic perspective of collaborative networks within the complexity of the manufacturing environment, based on empirical evidence from a questionnaire survey of 246 respondents from diverse manufacturing industries. Drawing upon the socio-technical systems (STS) theory, the study presents the theoretical context and interpretations through the lens of manufacturing. The results show significant influences of organizational support, promotive interactions, positive interdependence, internal-external learning, perceived effectiveness, and perceived usefulness on the use of collaborative networks among manufacturing employees. The study offers a basis of empirical validity for measuring collaborative networks in organizational learning and knowledge/information sharing in manufacturing.
Employees’ learning, collaborative networked learning, collaborative networks, socio-technical systems theory
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