The ability to innovate successfully is a key corporate capability, depending strongly on firms’ access to knowledge capital: proprietary, tacit and embodied.
Here, the focus is on one specific source of embodied knowledge – advanced manufacturing technologies or AMTs – and its impact on firms’ innovation success. AMTs relate to a series of process innovations which enable firms to take advantage of numerical and digital technologies to optimise elements of a manufacturing process.
Using panel data for Irish manufacturing plants, the writers identify lengthy learning-by-using effects in terms of firms’ ability to derive innovation benefits from AMT adoption. Disruption effects are evident in the short-term while positive innovation benefits occur six-plus years after adoption. Strong complementarities between simultaneously adopted AMTs suggest the value of disruptive rather than incremental implementation strategies.