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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 1 • Date Feb. 1998

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Displaying Results 1 - 10 of 10
  • Strategic Management Of Technology And Innovation [Book Reviews]

    Page(s): 88
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • From theory to practice: toward a typology of project-management styles

    Page(s): 33 - 48
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    Research literature on the management of projects has been quite slow in its conceptual development and still suffers from a scanty theoretical basis. One of the main impediments in the study of projects has been the absence of constructs and the little distinction that has been made between the project type and its managerial and organizational style. Based on the findings in a field study of 26 case projects, this research shows that there is a need to adopt a more project-specific contingency approach to project management in organizations. This study explores a two-dimensional theoretical model for the classification of technical (or engineering) projects. Projects are classified according to four levels of technological uncertainty at the time of project initiation and three levels of system scope, which is their location on a hierarchical ladder of systems and subsystems. Considerable differences were found in management style, project organization and operational practice when moving along each of the model's two axes. Differences also were observed in simultaneous change in both dimensions. The findings suggest a handful of practical and managerial implications. They are based on the premise that a proper project classification prior to project initiation and a carefully selected management style may lead to better implementation and to an increased chance of project success View full abstract»

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  • Repair-unit location models for power failures

    Page(s): 57 - 65
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    Extreme weather conditions such as ice storms often cause significant damage to electric power transmission and distribution systems and result in large-scale power failures. In such cases, electric utilities need to repair the transmission and distribution systems as expeditiously and economically as possible. In this paper, for the electric utilities, the authors present three mathematical goal programming models: (1) a tactical model that provides the optimal repair-unit dispatch plan after a forecast of severe weather conditions; (2) a short-term strategic model that provides the optimal repair-unit location plan under normal weather conditions; and (3) a long-term strategic model that provides the optimal number of repair units. These models will assist electric utilities to locate and dispatch repair units and to restore the transmission and distribution failures efficiently. The authors illustrate some features of these models with a numerical example. Finally, a comparative study shows how these models could be more efficient than a modified conventional model View full abstract»

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  • Following the leader in R&D: the joint effect of subordinate problem-solving style and leader-member relations on innovative behavior

    Page(s): 3 - 10
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    There have been relatively few theoretically-based empirical studies of leadership in research and development (R&D) settings despite theoretical indications of its importance. Some recent studies have found support for a relationship between transformational leadership and R&D project success. In the current study, the authors discuss the transactional and transformational nature of leader-member-exchange (LMX) theory. They then develop hypotheses regarding the relationship of LMX and problem-solving style to individual innovative behavior. They tested these hypotheses in two independent samples of R&D professionals. The results of hierarchical regression supported the hypotheses; innovative behavior was negatively related to associative and positively related to bisociative problem-solving style and innovative behavior was positively related to LMX. Further, LMX explained variance in innovative behavior beyond that explained by problem-solving style alone. This relationship was shown to hold regardless of the type of task in which the R&D professionals were engaged. Implications for theory and for practising managers are discussed View full abstract»

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  • Prioritizing processes in initial implementation of statistical process control

    Page(s): 66 - 72
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    A production process composed of tens or even hundreds of subprocesses is a common phenomenon in industry. Each of the subprocesses contributes to various aspects of product quality. Ideally, a control chart can be set up on every subprocess to guarantee the quality of the final product. This is not practical however, because of limited human and economic resources, and the management has to decide which subprocesses are to be given higher priorities. In this paper, for the purpose of prioritizing processes in complicated production systems for implementing statistical process control (SPC) schemes, preliminary selection based on statistical and technical criticality of processes is discussed. An analytic hierarchy process approach based on pair-wise comparisons between several factors in deciding the relative criticality of the processes in a hierarchy structure is then studied. The approach can be used in management decision making in planning for SPC implementation. A case study is presented to illustrate the methodology View full abstract»

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  • Fuzzy assessment of machine flexibility

    Page(s): 78 - 87
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    Manufacturing flexibility is a difficult and multifaceted concept that because of its inherent complexity and fuzziness is amenable to an artificial intelligence treatment. Fuzzy logic offers a suitable framework for measuring flexibility in its various aspects. This paper deals with the measurement of machine flexibility. When data are precise, this is done via a simple analytical formula. But if such data, and hence knowledge, are not precise, fuzzy-logic modeling should be employed by transforming the human expertise into IF-THEN rules and membership functions. An implementation of the interval-valued fuzzy-set approach, together with a max-min schema, provides the approximate inference mechanism for the computation of machine flexibility. This approach has the advantage of revealing second-order semantic uncertainty with the associated nonspecificity measure. The models are illustrated with a number of examples View full abstract»

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  • Contractor performance: how good are contingent workers at the professional level?

    Page(s): 11 - 19
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    “Contractors”, sometimes called “job shoppers”, are temporary workers from an agency “A” who perform professional work at client site “B” under the direction of the client's employees. The authors surveyed 96 managers in six high-technology settings about their overall perceptions of contractor performance, finding that respondents perceived it to rival that of comparable employees. Such perceptions of contractor performance were unaffected by the amount of time the contractor spent in the client workgroup. Also, perceived overall contractor performance was unaffected both by aggregated client measures against coemployment risk and by existence of a forced-departure rule View full abstract»

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  • Comparison of manufacturing performance of three team structures in semiconductor plants

    Page(s): 20 - 32
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    Manufacturing programs aimed at improving performance often feature employee teams that address production problems at the shop-floor level. According to cognitive models of participation, performance under such programs is improved via the better utilization of skills and knowledge that occurs as employees are allowed greater decision making in their tasks. The authors examine the cognitive-model premise in a high-technology industry where improvement-team programs are on the rise. The study three types of improvement-team programs among a sample of eight manufacturing sites. The programs feature continuous improvement teams (CITs), quality circles (QCs) or self-directed work teams (SDWTs) and vary in the amount of decision-making power, skill attainment via training and skill use granted to employees. A quantitative analysis of performance reveals that CIT programs were associated with the highest direct and indirect productivity, two metrics that were available for each firm. QC and SDWT programs should not be dismissed, however, as they may lead to improvements in quality metrics, as the authors note in suggestions for future research. Qualitative data gathered in site visits suggest that poor implementation and failure to integrate production programs with engineering departments are two factors that inhibit program success View full abstract»

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  • How many R&D projects to develop?

    Page(s): 73 - 77
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    The eventual success of any early research project is uncertain. It has been generally recognized that commercial and applied research projects need to be screened prior to undertaking extensive development effort. But how many projects should be continued into development? This paper presents a model to determine an average optimal number of research projects to be developed. The research and development is viewed as a two-stage process, where the task of research is to reduce the uncertainty for eventual development. Research projects consist of both technical and business evaluation, including marketing research. The number of research projects undertaken should be a function of the cost effectiveness of the research effort and the ability of the organization to support the development effort. We have created an analytical model of research and development based on the concept that the function of research is to improve the likelihood of development success. Based on this model and within its limitations, we conclude that (1) an optimum fraction of projects that should be developed usually exists and (2) that optimum fraction is critically dependent on the relative average research project cost and effectiveness compared to development View full abstract»

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  • Use of Petri nets for resource allocation in projects

    Page(s): 49 - 56
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    Traditional models for project management have not adequately incorporated a number of factors that are important for resource allocation. This paper describes the use of Petri nets to facilitate resource allocation in projects under some conditions commonly encountered in practice. Petri nets provide a powerful formalism for representing and analyzing concurrent systems. To date, however, very little has been done to integrate this graphical and mathematical tool with the area of project management. Petri net models can be used to analyze interdependencies, criticality, substitution, conflicting resource priorities and variations in the availability of resources. This paper proposes a new model and demonstrates the usefulness of the model for real-time activity scheduling in a resource-constrained project environment. The model has been computerized using the C language, and a simple project is chosen as an example to provide step-by-step explanations of the simulation carried out. This paper also discusses the implications of the model and the analysis it supports 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