First Advisor

Robert Harmon

Term of Graduation

Spring 2006

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systems Science: Business Administration


Systems Science: Business Administration




Semiconductor industry, Semiconductors, Sustainable development



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, xi, 199 pages)


Reducing the ecological impact of industrial development is an emerging trend that affords companies the opportunity to gain competitive advantage. Semiconductor manufacturers have specifically identified ecological impact as a strategic variable that presents a long-term challenge. The socioeconomic nature of the ecological impact construct increases decision-making complexity in a manner that is not typical in business-to-business contexts. To account for social and economic aspects, this study utilized a cognitive structure-based model. Such models have been successfully utilized in consumer and industrial markets as adaptable frameworks that can encompass social and economic constructs.

This research focuses on linking two ecological constructs to market outcomes: customers' belief about the usefulness of ecological product attributes and their attitude concerning the environment. Models of those relationships were proposed and tested. This involved the development of new multiple-item scales to measure belief and attitude. The conceptualization of these scales was drawn from the literature on attitude theory and marketing. Hypotheses were tested regarding the relationships between beliefs, attitudes, and market outcomes.

A survey was formulated based on an extensive review of the literature and input from a multi-stakeholder panel. Responses came from semiconductor engineers and professionals in the US, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Europe, and the rest of Asia. Data analyses demonstrated the achievement of valid and reliable scales that measure the ecological belief and attitude constructs.

Semiconductor makers can be segmented based on economic criteria into two groups. One group views reducing ecological impact as an opportunity and the other regards it as a cost. Each segment's beliefs and collective attitudes have significant relationships with intentions regarding new equipment adoption and the formation of joint technology development partnerships. A product factor related to the reduction of a factory's overall ecological impact was a more frequent significant predictor of customer purchase intentions than a factor related to natural resource conservation. Equipment suppliers that focus on reducing ecological impact of their tools stand to benefit from each segment if their value offerings are aligned with each group's unique needs. Such economic benefits provide a market-based incentive to reduce the ecological impact of semiconductor production tools.


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