In this article we describe and test a theory of complementarities between design-manufacturing integration (DMI) and usage of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT). This study extends prior AMT research by examining the role of complementary assets in explaining how AMT adoption contributes to manufacturing performance. In addition, the study provides a finer-grained analysis of associations between Process and Planning AMT usage and various aspects of manufacturing performance. We analyze data from 224 manufacturing plants in order to test the hypotheses that DMI moderates the relationships between AMT usage and manufacturing performance. Regression analysis results indicate that DMI plays the role of complementary asset to AMT usage when quality, delivery and process flexibility are considered. A complementary role is not observed for cost efficiency and new product flexibility. In fact, the results suggest that combined high levels of DMI and AMT usage can be costly. We discuss the implications of the findings for a contingency theory of AMT success, for future research, and for managerial practice. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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