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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 2 • Date May 1997

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Displaying Results 1 - 9 of 9
  • An assessment of the influence of organizational characteristics on information technology adoption decision: a discriminative approach

    Page(s): 146 - 157
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    The increasing importance of emerging information technologies has prompted many researchers to examine the nature of innovation adoption within organizations. However, the nature of organizational influences in the innovation adoption process is still not well understood. This study surveyed Business Week 1000 companies to determine whether organizational strategies, structure, or context facilitate the adoption decision of integrated services digital networks (ISDN). The results suggest that companies most receptive to ISDN are larger, less open, have more slack resources, more technology expansion actions, and fewer technology restriction actions View full abstract»

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  • Make-or-buy decisions in R&D: small technology based firms in the United States and Japan

    Page(s): 124 - 134
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    This paper examines key factors which affect make-or-buy decisions in research and development (R&D) settings-whether technology is developed in house or acquired from external sources (e.g., through licensing or R&D contracts). The paper constructs several hypotheses from the literature survey and discussions and tests these hypotheses by using data from small technology based firms in the United States and Japan. Our analyses show external technology acquisitions are more likely to be practiced when the number of rivals expected to develop a similar product is greater, and the needed technology is less related to a firm's core technology. Our analyses also imply two qualitatively different goals in external technology acquisitions: to shorten development time, and thereby reap short-term profits (short-term strategy), and to maximize long-term profits over the life of the innovation (long-term strategy). Our analyses suggest the dominance of the former strategy View full abstract»

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  • Measuring manufacturing work group autonomy

    Page(s): 158 - 174
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    The increasing use of autonomous work groups in manufacturing industries has been accompanied by a growing confusion over exactly what group autonomy connotes. Our intent in this paper is to provide clarity to the quantitative measurement of work group autonomy. An examination of classic case studies from the group literature reveals how group autonomy has been conceptualized over time, while highlighting the absence of more modern-day concerns in areas such as equipment maintenance and quality improvement. In attempting to objectively assess the degree of autonomy held by work groups both in the classic studies and in a modern high-technology industry, we find that the existing measurement instrument fails at the latter. A new more finely grained measuring instrument is introduced that covers decisions in the areas of methods, scheduling, task allocation, resource allocation and management, goals, and boundary management. Items on the instrument address topics in performance evaluation, training, equipment maintenance, group membership, and production, among others View full abstract»

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  • Competence management by informatics in R&D: the corporate level

    Page(s): 135 - 145
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    Resources of deep competence available in all fields required by the new product development process (NPD) demanded monodisciplinary groups of specialists acting as living systems. Group members, being in an everyday face-to-face contact and using the same terminology in an atmosphere of common problem solving, can create the core competence necessary for corporate success. The usual ways to assign specialists of different professions in interdisciplinary project teams endanger this by removing the individual from the source of competence. Use of the resource box model for information structuring with full-media communication enables establishment of virtual teams for project work. Then the team members can provide the total knowledge of the competence group without leaving it. The structure of operative resource boxes as a basis combined with supporting resource boxes and decision boxes can build a network organization. It relies on a communication system in three levels providing valuable information of high quality. This organization concept is based on deep studies for several years of a high-tech Swedish product development organization View full abstract»

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  • The R&D cycle: the influence of product and process R&D on short-term ROI

    Page(s): 114 - 123
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    The purposes of this paper are first to explore the relationship between the total R&D budget and two major components, product and process R&D, and second, to examine the relationship between these two types of R&D and the profitability of the business. The paper explores a cyclical pattern in the relationship between product and process R&D on the one hand and the short-term return on investment (ROI) of the business on the other hand. The total level of R&D investment plays a key role in this relationship. The foundation of this paper is based on prior work about the changing role of R&D over the life cycle of a new product or a new technology. It is also based on the notions of the S-curve response function and the limited compatibility between product and process R&D. The empirical part of the paper is derived from the PIMS database where the sampling units are strategic business units (SBUs). It is, therefore, different from studies where the focus of analysis is a single product or technology. Two forms of analysis are presented: correlation analysis of the hypothesized relationship and nonparametric tests of the stability of findings. The analysis assumes a lagged relationship between the investment in R&D and performance in terms of ROI. The primary conclusion is that product and process R&D modestly affect ROI two years later. The relationship appears to be different depending on the level of total R&D spending View full abstract»

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  • (SPACE) distribution and measurement of laboratory and office space costs: a financial model

    Page(s): 208 - 218
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    Space Plan Allocation of Costs Equitably (SPACE) is a financial model the authors have developed to identify total operating costs across a corporate or university research and development (R&D) center as a function of space. Because certain kinds of spaces, such as cleanrooms, wet chemistry, physics laboratories and computer centers, cost significantly more to construct and operate and need more infrastructure support than offices or electronic laboratories, one cannot use a flat dollars-per-square-foot charge or a flat dollars-per-person charge and be equitable and accurate in the reflection of costs. The goal of the authors' model is to determine the total cost associated with supporting various technologies used in each class of space. The model can be used to allocate and charge for services as a function of space, and it can also be used to size and benchmark facilities and services organizations. This concept of cost allocations can be used for any type of complex, from office tower to manufacturing and development (M&D) to marketing and sales (M&S) View full abstract»

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  • Coordination mechanisms for multi-agent manufacturing systems: applications to integrated manufacturing scheduling

    Page(s): 175 - 187
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    The advent of information technology (IT) has made today's manufacturing systems increasingly distributed. Typically such a system consists of a complex array of computer-based decision units, controllers and databases. Rather than dealing with each component individually, it is necessary to have a new paradigm for management of manufacturing systems, so that all the components and their operations can be managed in an integrated fashion. The multi-agent framework presented in this paper is such a paradigm for achieving system integration. The authors specifically emphasize the coordination mechanisms needed for ensuring the orderly operations and concerted decision making among the components-i.e., agents-of the manufacturing systems. The application of the framework to a printed circuit board manufacturing system and the performance results are also described View full abstract»

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  • Simulation of structural steel erection to assess innovations

    Page(s): 196 - 207
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    This paper presents a new application of process simulation to construction activities to assess the operational and economic impacts of technological innovations. The first construction model developed is structural steel erection, and this model is used to identify the potential benefits and costs of eight specific erection innovations, and any changes that may be required in material, equipment, or process to use them. The model includes the process flow diagram of detailed tasks which is matched to specific design elements, production rates, operating conditions and resources to calculate activity durations, taking into account the capacity of the resources, worker safety, structural stability and other constraints. The results from the simulation model incorporating the erection innovations indicate that structural steel erection could be significantly improved by the use of some technical innovations. In addition, the use of simulation for the evaluation of construction methods offers great promise View full abstract»

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  • Partnering on construction projects: a study of the relationship between partnering activities and project success

    Page(s): 188 - 195
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    Project partnering has generated considerable attention in the construction industry as a means for transforming hostile, adversarial owner-contractor relationships into a more collaborative, productive team. Empirical support for partnering, however, is limited. The present study used mailed questionnaire data to examine the relationship between specific partnering related activities and project success for 291 construction projects. All of the major partnering activities were found to be positively related to at least one of the measures of project success. The findings suggest that a comprehensive approach be applied to partnering on construction projects and that top management support for teamwork across organizations is critical to success View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Management of technical functions such as research, development, and engineering in industry, government, university, and other settings. Emphasis is on studies carried on within an organization to help in decision making or policy formation for RD&E. 

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Rajiv Sabherwal
Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas