The impact of 3D printing implementation on stock returns: A contingent dynamic capabilities perspective

Hugo K.S. Lam, Li Ding, T. C.E. Cheng, Honggeng Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to theoretically hypothesize and empirically test the impact of 3D printing (3DP) implementation on stock returns. It further explores how the stock returns due to 3DP implementation vary across different industry environments. Design/methodology/approach: This paper integrates the dynamic capabilities view with contingency theory to provide a contingent dynamic capabilities (CDC) perspective on 3DP implementation. It argues that implementing 3DP enables firms to enhance their manufacturing capabilities and gain a competitive advantage, but the extent to which the competitive advantage can be realized is contingent on the fit between 3DP-enhanced manufacturing capabilities and firms’ operating environments. Those arguments are tested based on an event study of 232 announcements of 3DP implementation made by US publicly listed firms between 2010 and 2017. Findings: The event study results show that firms implementing 3DP gain higher stock returns compared with their non-implementation industry peers over two years after the implementation. Such stock returns due to 3DP implementation are more pronounced for firms operating in more munificent, more dynamic and less competitive industry environments. Those findings are consistent with the CDC perspective. Originality/value: This is the first research empirically examining the impact of 3DP implementation on stock returns. It provides important implications for managers to implement 3DP to enhance firms’ manufacturing capabilities and for researchers to study 3DP implementation from the CDC perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-961
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2019


  • 3D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Contingency theory
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Event study
  • Stock returns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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