Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Susan Fan


Additive manufacturing (AM), also called 3-dimensional printing (3DP), emerged as a disruptive technology affecting multiple organizations' business models and supply chains and endangering incumbents' financial health, or even rendering them obsolete. The world market for products created by AM has increased more than 25% year over year. Using Christensen's theory of disruptive innovation as a conceptual framework, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the successful strategies that 4 individual managers, 1 at each of 4 different light and high-tech manufacturing companies in the Netherlands, used to adopt AM technology into their business models. Participant firms originated from 3 provinces and included a value-added logistics service provider and 3 machine shops serving various industries, including the automotive and medical sectors. Data were collected through semistructured interviews, member checking, and analysis of company documents that provided information about the adoption of 3DP into business models. Using Yin's 5-step data analysis approach, data were compiled, disassembled, reassembled, interpreted, and concluded until 3 major themes emerged: identify business opportunities for AM technology, experiment with AM technology, and embed AM technology. Because of the design freedom the use of AM enables, in combination with its environmental efficiency, the implications for positive social change include possibilities for increasing local employment, improving the environment, and enhancing healthcare for the prosperity of local and global citizens by providing potential solutions that managers could use to deploy AM technology.

Included in

Business Commons