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Control and evaluation in the innovation process: The case of flexible manufacturing systems

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1 Author(s)
Gerwin, D. ; School of Business Administration, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Explores the problems in controlling and evaluating a radical process innovation in a batch manufacturing firm. Data come from interviews with individuals in various hierarchical levels and functions. The decision to adopt tended to be qualitative in nature and essentially made by two representatives of the organization's technostructure. Their major objective was to minimize the chance of disaster rather than to maximize efficiency. During implementation, quality control faced frequent, complex technical problems at the same time that there was pressure for immediate solutions. Cost accounting procedures were affected by the difficulty in developing completely objective standards. The strategies employed to solve these problems are discussed along with implications for the design of control procedures. One intriguing implication is that the characteristics of a radical new technology, along with other factors, influence the validity of the control procedures designed to evaluate it.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:EM-28 ,  Issue: 3 )