Impact of New Technology on Sustainability of Supply Chains: Empirical Evidence from Manufacturing SMEs in China
Yetkin Ekren, B.
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New manufacturing technology can provide useful competitive advantages for enterprises to deal with fierce competition, and help them look for a better solution to production and operation management improving the quality of product services. New technology can also promote enterprises to obtain sustained economic, social and environmental benefits. This study, therefore, focuses on investigating the impact of technology on the sustainability of supply chains in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Pearl River Delta region of China. The findings are based on 100 valid survey responses from SMEs in the region. The study identifies a set of enablers and barriers to new technology implementation in manufacturing SMEs. Our findings show that the economic factors occupy the central position whereas the market pressures from home and abroad; the vision of the enterprise’s development; and the apparent advantages of new technologies were identified as other key enablers. On the contrary, the driving force from the government was found to be insufficient, whether it is a relatively free market regulatory environment or tax-free welfare policies for small businesses to promote the use of new technologies. The high production cost appears to be the most critical barrier followed by vicious competition among enterprises in the industry and lack of technical personnel. Our findings also show that enablers and barriers of new technology implementations are significantly correlated with sustainability performance measures (economic, social and environmental performance). Our study hence adds to the limited empirical literature focused on investigating the new technology and sustainability relationship.
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