A study of relationships between organizational characteristics and QR adoption in the U.S. apparel industry

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to identify the usage level of QR technologies and to examine the relationships between the organizational characteristics and the usage level of QR technologies and QR adoption in the U.S. apparel industry. Using the usage level of QR technologies and QR adoption as the dependent variables, the selected organizational characteristics, as independent variables, were: firm size (Le., numbers of employees, dollar amounts of sales volume), organizational strategy (i.e., prospector, analyzer, reactor, defender), product characteristics (i.e., product category, fashion change, seasonal change), and perception of QR benefits. The conceptual framework for this study was based on Rogers' adoption theory (1983). A factor approach was used to examine a cross-section of firms to determine significant characteristics influencing QR adoption.

A random sample of 306 apparel manufacturers without locational limitation were selected from a purchased list. The sample was stratified by firm size (i.e., number of employees) and product category (Le., men's, women's, children's/infant's wear). A mail questionnaire was pilot tested for content validity and instrument reliability, and the revised questionnaire was sent to plant managers. Adjusted response rate was 47.0% (n=103). Regression, discriminant analysis, and nonparametrics were used to test the statistical significance of hypothesized relationships.

The most frequently used technologies were small lot orders, short cycle cut planning, short cycle sewing, and production planning with customer. Firm size, organizational strategy, and fashion change were significantly related to the usage level of QR technologies. Firm size, organizational strategy, product category, and perception ofQR benefits were significantly related to QR adoption. Four QR elements (i.e., production planning, flexible manufacturing, inventory control, information sharing) were significantly related to QR adoption.