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Coordinating Converging Technologies: A Survey of Models from the Field of Multi-Actor Systems

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2 Author(s)
van der Lei, T.E. ; Delft Univ. of Technol., Delft ; Cunningham, S.W.

Converging technologies demand new forms of social, economic and technological coordination. The discovery of new technology is, for example, increasingly diffused - no single inventor, institute or laboratory has the necessary knowledge to pioneer new discoveries in isolation from others. The coordination of converging technology is increasingly a large-scale, high-risk enterprise, requiring the formation of partnerships and alliances. The field of multi-actor systems is a developing discipline of management of technology. One aspect of the field of multi-actor systems is the development of models of actor coordination. Such models are useful for explanatory, operational as well as strategic purposes. In this paper we investigate which formal modeling methods are most applied to multi-actor problems in general and multi actor problems faced by converging technologies like information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Our analysis shows that game theory is the most applied multi-actor model. We create a classification of problems facing the technology manager, and examine the suitability of these models in light of these emerging problems of the three converging technologies.

Published in:

Management of Engineering and Technology, Portland International Center for

Date of Conference:

5-9 Aug. 2007