Producer Services Linkages Among New York State Manufacturers: An Assessment of Technological and Commercial Impact
Alan MacPherson Principal Investigator
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9312630 MACPHERSON The purpose of this project is to assess the role of specialized producer services in the innovation and market performance of industrial firms using New York state as a case study. While considerable research has been directed at producer services and towards manufacturing, a significant gap exists in our knowledge of how manufacturers develop connections with and use producer services. The expectation is that those firms which are better able to tap into appropriate producer services will perform better and be more innovative. This project tests several hypotheses regarding factors that influence the ability of manufacturing firms to connect with and benefit from producer services. A major hypothesis is that those industrial firms which are more peripherally located are less likely to have well developed relationships with producer service firms and to perform at lower levels. Other factors expected to influence the intensity of producer service-manufacturing firm interaction include whether or not firms are part of a larger organization, the firm's position in the product life cycle, and size of firm. A large mail survey will be conducted for firms in upstate and downstate New York, followed by in-depth interviews with a small number of representative firms. This research will contribute important new insights into the relationship between manufacturing firm productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness and the factors affecting the degree and type of producer service interactions. As such, the project will make substantial contributions to theories related to industrial and producer service location, organization, and performance as well as to issues of intense interest to regional and economic development policy.