About WTS Prof. Clair Brown Faculty, Students and Affiliates Research Areas Online Research Reports Working Papers


      The Competitive Semiconductor Manufacturing Human Resource project began in July, 1993 as an adjunct to the CSM multi-year research program, which was designed to study semiconductor manufacturing performance worldwide. The CSM main study is a joint program of the College of Engineering, the Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR), and the Haas School of Business under the sponsorship of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and with the cooperation of semiconductor producers from the United States, Asia, and Europe. Professors David Hodges and Robert Leachman are the Program's Co-Directors.

      This is the final report covering the first phase of CSM-HR research. Our research mission was to understand how human resource practices influence manufacturing performance. To do this we collected and analyzed data from sixteen manufacturing fabs, including two questionnaires sent to fabs, data collected through site interviews and observations, a special survey of engineers, and personnel data covering sixteen years of one major company.

      The CSM-HR group is led by Professor Clair Brown and currently includes graduate students Melissa Appleyard, Ben Campbell, Rene Kamita, Dan Rascher, and Vince Valvano. Past members have included Professor Michael Reich, postdoctoral fellow David Bowen, the late Dr. Vinay Sohoni, and graduate student Jumbi Edulbehram. We have been very fortunate to have collaborated in the past with Professor Sara Beckman and graduate students Diane Bailey, Nile Hatch, Baruch Saeed, and Linda Sattler from the CSM main study.

      This project reflects the synergy of the engineers and social scientists who worked together to collect and analyze the data. This report reflects their collective wisdom, and as social scientists we have valued the opportunity to work with our engineer colleagues in studying this high-tech industry. Dean David Hodges was instrumental in creating the supportive environment between the engineers and social scientists. Professor Robert Leachman continually shared his knowledge and insights concerning semiconductor manufacturing. We are grateful to Diane Bailey, Dave Bowen, and Rob Leachman for their detailed comments, which improved the report.

      We are deeply grateful to the managers, engineers, and workers at the companies who participated in our study. They generously gave their time and patiently answered our questions even as they were responding to intense production demands. However, they must remain anonymous in order to protect the company identities.

      We are also grateful to our colleagues on the Sloan HR Network, who provided valuable feedback and encouragement. This group of academics is headed by Professor Tom Kochan, who has provided strong intellectual leadership and who ensured that the study of HR systems would be a part of the Sloan industry studies.

      The staff at the Institute of Industrial Relations provided us with invaluable help and support. We would like to thank Frozan Wahaj, who produced our reports, which was challenging with a group of researchers from multiple departments; Myra Armstrong, who arranged meetings and travel plans and helped to keep us organized; Elaine Meckenstock, who oversaw a very complicated budget and grant project; and business manager Diane Leite, who ensured that IIR was an efficient and welcoming place to work.

      Finally, we are especially grateful to the Sloan Foundation for funding this program. In particular, we would like to thank Ralph Gomory and Hirsch Cohen for their probing questions and appreciation of our work. Hirsch Cohen always expressed faith that we would reach the correct destination even when he thought we might be on the wrong track. He has been an important part of our program. We are also pleased to be working more recently with Frank Mayadas and Gail Pesyna at the Sloan Foundation. They bring new insights and guidance to our project.

Clair Brown
Berkeley, CA

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