Responsible for running a $2.5 billion HP computer factory in a high-cost country like Germany, the author perceived constant pressure defining new manufacturing strategies to keep a competitive advantage for the factory over all internal and external manufacturing alternatives around the world. However, it was clear that a competitive advantage does not last for ever but is rather limited by time, and that it is vital to recognize when an old competitive advantage has lost its strength. This uncertainty could be reduced by a better understanding of long-term market and technological trends and how local factories need to adapt their capabilities over time. Inspired by the HP experience we developed in our research a conceptual model to explain why switching of capabilities during the TLC is needed for success and how it should be done. Two more qualitative cases are presented and used to test and refine the conceptual model. As a result we propose in this thesis detailed guidelines for capability switching in local manufacturing over the lifetime of a factory. These guidelines also provide valid and reliable measures of the phases of a technology’s status within the Technology Life Cycle and the corresponding type of local factory which are necessary for developing successful manufacturing capabilities.

Additional Metadata
Keywords HD30.28, case study research, local manufacturing, manufacturing capabilities, manufacturing strategy, supply chain management
JEL Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms (jel L11), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Production Management (jel M11), Transportation Systems (jel R4)
Promotor L.N. van Wassenhove (Luk)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam , Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Sponsor Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) J.A.E.E. van Nunen L.N. Van Wassenhove Prof.dr. S.L. van de Velde E. van Heck Dr. M. Fleischmann
ISBN 978-90-5892-150-5
Persistent URL
Series ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Brumme, H. (2008, April 3). Capability Switching along the Technology Life Cycle in Local Manufacturing within the High-Tech Electronics Industry (No. EPS-2008-126-LIS). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from