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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 1 • Date Feb 2001

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Displaying Results 1 - 13 of 13
  • A prism on globalization: corporate responses to the dollar [Book Reviews]

    Page(s): 111
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Alliance advantage: the art of creating value through partnering [Book Reviews]

    Page(s): 111 - 112
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Corporate universities: lessons in building a world-class work force [Book Reviews]

    Page(s): 112 - 113
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Neo-industrial organising: renewal by action and knowledge formation in a project-intensive economy [Book Reviews]

    Page(s): 113 - 115
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Developing a sourcing strategy for IS: a behavioral decision process and framework

    Page(s): 15 - 24
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    A framework and process are developed for considering outsourcing, insourcing, internal markets and strategic alliance alternative sourcing strategies for information systems (IS) activities. The framework is behavioral in nature in that it mimics the way in which people actually make decisions. An activity whose sourcing is to be evaluated is initially assessed in terms of two criteria: critical success factor and core competency, which, respectively, reflect the traditional industrial economics paradigm and the more-recent resource-based theory of the firm. The two criteria, each at three possible levels, suggest a preliminary strategy that is used to begin a decision-making process for which the framework suggests consequences, both direct and unintended, that may be used to comprehensively evaluate the “working” strategy. The framework suggests consequences and issues for consideration that are derived from “lessons learned” from many real sourcing situations as well as research results. These issues are also intended to be suggestive of other issues that may apply to the particular decision situation. The framework and process should permit the comprehensive evaluation of a sourcing strategy for an IS activity in a fashion that uses rigorous theory-based criteria to support a judgmental decision process View full abstract»

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  • Selecting R&D projects at BMW: a case study of adopting mathematical programming models

    Page(s): 70 - 80
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    Research and development (R&D) project selection is a critical interface between the product development strategy of an organization and the process of managing projects day-to-day. This article describes the project selection problem faced by an R&D group of BMW (Munich, Germany). The problem was structured as minimizing the gap between target performance of the technology to be developed and actual performance of the current technology along chosen criteria. A mathematical programming model helped this organization to increase the transparency of their selection process, which previously had been based on experience coupled with evaluation of individual projects in isolation. Implementation was a success in that the predevelopment group continues to use the model to make better decisions. However, the organization did not use the model for its intended purpose: constrained optimization. The traditional explanation for this partial implementation is that the analytical model did not capture all considerations relevant to optimization (e.g., uncertainty or strategic fit), and that further model refinements are required to achieve further implementation. We offer an alternative explanation, one based on the technology transfer literature View full abstract»

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  • Key factors in the successful application of quality function deployment (QFD)

    Page(s): 81 - 95
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    In the product design and development process, quality function deployment (QFD) provides a comprehensive, systematic approach to ensure that new products meet or exceed customer expectations. This paper reports on the results of a survey of more than 400 companies in the United States and Japan using QFD. The objective of the study was to understand the key factors that result in the successful application of QFD. The research questions investigated in this study were developed both inductively from QFD case studies in the United States and Japan and deductively from the literature. Regression analysis estimates the effects of organizational characteristics, data sources, and QFD tools and techniques on QFD improvements in the product and process. The results show that QFD is most likely to have a positive impact when there is management support for QFD and new customer data specifically collected for the QFD study are used. The benefits of QFD are independent of the tools and techniques used as part of the QFD study View full abstract»

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  • Contractor selection criteria: a cost-benefit analysis

    Page(s): 96 - 106
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    This paper describes an empirical study aimed at ranking prequalification criteria on the basis of perceived total cost-benefit to stakeholders. A postal questionnaire was distributed to 100 client and contractor organizations in Australia in 1997. Forty-eight responses were analyzed for scores on 38 categories of contractor information in terms of “value to client” “contractor costs,” “client costs,” and “value for money.” The client and contractor responses for “value to client” and “client costs” of processing were found to be homogeneous. Those for “contractor costs” and “value for money” differed significantly between the clients and the contractors. A simple linear regression analysis was used to model the responses, and an index of cost-benefit was derived for each of the categories. This was found to be superior to all of the nonlinear alternatives examined. The model was also found to have greater intuitive value than the equivalent raw “value for money” responses View full abstract»

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  • Dimensions of national culture and corporate adoption of IT infrastructure

    Page(s): 36 - 45
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    Corporate adoption of information technology (IT) infrastructure is a critical management issue that may be affected by national culture. Prior research has shown that dimensions of national culture affect development of national IT infrastructure as well as adoption and impact of IT applications. This study explores the impact of two dimensions of national culture (uncertainty avoidance and power distance) on the adoption of a type of IT infrastructure (frame relay). A multinational survey was carried out, and it yielded useable responses from 153 businesses from 24 countries. The results demonstrated that businesses from higher uncertainty avoidance countries were less likely to adopt frame relay. A one-point increase in Hofstede's uncertainty avoidance index for the country of incorporation was associated with a 3% lower likelihood of adopting frame relay. Power distance was not significantly correlated with adoption of frame relay. These results highlight the relevance of dimensions of national culture as factors affecting corporate adoption of IT infrastructure. Implications for practice and further research are presented View full abstract»

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  • Helping relations between technology users and developers: a vignette study

    Page(s): 56 - 69
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    This paper describes a vignette study of help-seeking and help-giving by technology users and technical specialists in response to problems with technologies-in-use. It was found that decisions both to seek and to give help were affected by task variables, such as problem urgency and problem difficulty. They also found evidence that technology users' decisions about help-seeking are not driven by opportunities to learn from specialists. In fact, users generally avoided the kind of direct, face-to-face interactions with specialists that could yield the richest learning opportunities, with more experienced users shunning such interactions most strongly. Technical specialists, on the other hand, showed a marked preference for forming intimate, face-to-face working relationships with technology users. Specialists saw these interactions as opportunities for gaining useful feedback on new technologies and how to improve them. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed View full abstract»

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  • Success factors and future challenges in the management of faster-better-cheaper projects: lessons learned from NASA

    Page(s): 25 - 35
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    In the last few years, NASA has shifted its mode of management of unmanned space missions from “flagship” missions to faster-better-cheaper (FBC) projects with reduced scope, budget and schedule. In order to examine the successful attributes and potential weaknesses of this new management style, the authors prepared four case studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA) in 1997 and 1998. Based on these case studies, (Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor, and Deep Space 1), they identified a number of management features that seem to have contributed to the success of the early FBC projects. These features generally involve simplification, standardization and the use of commercially available components and talents. They also pointed out that most of these features had potential downsides, and they expressed some concerns about the long-term viability of some of these features. The recent failures of two Mars missions have also shown the limitations of this mode of operations. Therefore, in the future, some of these features may have to be revisited to account better for risks and uncertainties. In this paper, the authors describe these management factors, some of the challenges that remain, and a set of recommendations based on their observations, many of which apply to other industries subjected to similar constraints View full abstract»

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  • What is engineering management?

    Page(s): 107 - 115
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    The question, “what is engineering management?” has certainly been addressed before in both professional articles and textbooks. However, it seems appropriate to again address this question because of the renewed interest in engineering management. This renewed interest comes in many forms, but two stand out. The first is the increasing trend to give engineering management assignments earlier and earlier in a new engineering graduate's career. The second is the emphasis of engineering management skills in ABET 2000 in the undergraduate engineering program. Both of these initiatives seem to be led by industry and may be a direct result of industry's interest in engineering management skills as a competitive advantage as well as their downsizing practices, which have resulted in the more experienced engineers retiring early and their responsibilities being pushed down to the more junior engineers. If you believe, as does this author, that before you can become a good engineering manager you should first be a good engineer, then the trend of giving management assignments before engineers have had an opportunity to become well grounded in their engineering disciplines should be disturbing. This could eventually affect a company's ability to continue to play a leadership role in introducing new technologies. Hence, the question “what is engineering management?” is an important question. This article attempts to answer the question by addressing when engineering management skills are needed in an engineer's career View full abstract»

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  • Information system success as impacted by risks and development strategies

    Page(s): 46 - 55
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    The high failure rates long associated with information system (IS) projects, despite advances in techniques for information technology development, suggest that organizations need to improve their ability to identify and to manage associated risks. Until recently, studies of specific risks and successes were limited by the lack of formal measures that were both comprehensive and multifaceted. This paper proposes and tests a model based on literature that relates sources of risk to strategies and success. One hundred ninety-six project managers were surveyed to begin an exploration of the types of risks encountered, the impact they have on different categories of success, and the types of strategies that are deployed to mitigate known risks. Analysis of responses indicates that risk-reduction strategies influence success. Strategies involving behavioral aspects tend to be more influential in risk reduction than are those aimed at technical risks. Suggestions for both practitioners and researchers are discussed 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