Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Computer integrated manufacturing systems;


The review of recent literature showed a clear trend within the manufacturing sector toward the integration of design and production activities through increased application of the computer. The competitive advantages of computer integration were reported, as well as increased risk due to the amount of time and capital expended in system implementation. The identification of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) success factors may reduce this risk.

Prior efforts to identify success factors for other areas of endeavor showed that success factors tended to vary with the four project phases, but were stable over time within a particular phase. More recently, empirical derivations of success factors have been attempted. Using project success assessment dimensions similar to the Project Implementation Profile (Pinto & Slevin, 1988), this study was undertaken to better understand the success factors during the implementation phase of CIM systems.

Using a modified Delphi methodology, an initial mail questionnaire was sent to 2,298 persons self-identified as manufacturing engineers interested in CIM. From the 415 returns (19.1% adjusted response rate), a pool of potential success factors was obtained. Following analysis by a jury of review, a second questionnaire containing 51 probable success factors was constructed and mailed to 105 potential respondents. Each of these individuals identified themselves as experienced in CIM implementation projects, and were willing to evaluate the factors with respect to project success dimensions. An adjusted response rate of 71% for this second questionnaire was obtained.

Using these returns, an aligned comparison of factor means showed significant differences between the success groupings on three items. Prioritizing the factor means yielded the identification of seven items as key success factors. Additionally, support for the time-stability of those factors was offered. Finally, a step-wise, linear discriminant analysis revealed that the success classification of the respondents could be predicted with an estimated 82% accuracy, based on the user assessments of six factors.

The findings of this project suggest that the support of those persons charged with evaluating a CIM implementation project is more important than the support of other involved personnel, the technical factors, or the experience aspects of the project. Application of the results in aptitude assessment and risk analysis were recommended. Further study of the reduced set of success factors using improved measures of project success was also recommended.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Douglas T. Pine


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Date Original


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