Adopting Rapid Prototyping Technology within Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: The Differences between Reality and Expectation
This source preferred by Tania Humphries-Smith
Authors: Humphries-Smith, T., Romouzy-Ali, A., Noroozi, S. and Sewell, P.
Journal: International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology,
Abstract—The aim of this paper is to study existing adoption of Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology within small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in addition to measuring the need for this technology. This study adopted a mixed method approach involving a postal survey of 200 companies followed by in-depth semi-structure interviews with 10 SMEs generating qualitative data which scrutinised the state on the ground in depth. The barriers to RP adoption were resistance to change, lack of resources, lack of professional qualifications and RP process limitation. Where RP was adopted the executive mangers stated that it is very effective across all of the associated aspects, however due to the barriers low levels of significance in adopting RP were revealed by SMEs not already using it. Consequently, whilst SMEs show negative response towards adopting RP technology, where they do so, they are satisfied with the outcomes. SMEs views about this barriers and the state of adoption generally are explored.