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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 4 • Date Nov. 2002

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Displaying Results 1 - 19 of 19
  • Passing the torch

    Page(s): 313 - 316
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • About this issue

    Page(s): 317 - 318
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Introduction to the special cluster on the commercialization of disruptive technologies and discontinuous innovations

    Page(s): 319 - 321
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Guest editorial a practitioner's view: evolutionary stages of disruptive technologies

    Page(s): 322 - 329
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Author index

    Page(s): 510 - 511
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Subject index

    Page(s): 511 - 515
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • The impact of environmental and organizational factors on discontinuous innovation within high-technology industries

    Page(s): 352 - 364
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    This study examines the influence of environmental, organizational, and managerial characteristics on discontinuous innovation across three industries (aerospace, electronic components, and telecommunications) that are highly dependent upon innovation for survival and competitive advantage. The authors randomly mailed survey questionnaires to 900 chief executive officers located across the USA and obtained quantitative data from 192 individuals. To validate these results, they conducted structured follow-up interviews of 25 executives. The findings suggest that discontinuous innovation increases with environmental dynamism and that structure and processes (intrafirm linkages, experimentation and transitioning, or sequencing from one product/project/program to another) contribute to discontinuous innovation. These results suggest that top managers are active, not passive, in influencing discontinuous innovation within their organizations. View full abstract»

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  • Strategies for corporate governance in engineering corporations

    Page(s): 398 - 408
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    Although corporate governance plays a crucial role in shaping the vision, image and reputation of a corporation, this subject has been largely ignored in the prevailing engineering and technology management literature. In the wake of scandals like Enron and WorldCom, the call for effective corporate governance echoes across the boardrooms of many corporations. It is the intent of this paper to close the gap between the myth and the reality of US corporate governance effectiveness in engineering companies and to suggest some improvement strategies regarding the modus operandi and optimum structure of this entity. This study would benefit the board of directors of engineering companies that are already in existence or those that are in the process of being formed. It relies on survey results with individuals who, by virtue of their significant experience in the boardroom of engineering corporations, can offer unique insight and provide valuable data to the topic of corporate governance. View full abstract»

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  • Differentiating market strategies for disruptive technologies

    Page(s): 341 - 351
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    The literature is full of anecdotes that show new small firms attacking existing markets with innovations based upon disruptive technologies and achieving phenomenal success. Because of this, some theorists argue that disruptive technologies are best commercialized by new small firms. If this is true, can a logical rationale be developed that explains this unique capacity of new firms? If so, can empirical research of new and established firms in an industry fraught with a disruptive technology identify the advantages that new firms have over established firms in the commercialization process? The purpose of this paper is to examine the different roles of established and new firms in disruptive technology commercialization. The authors begin by developing a model of the innovation process beginning with technology creation and ending with user adoption and application. From this model they develop propositions for testing. The authors use survey data collected from 72 micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) manufacturing firms. Their results from the MEMS industry show that established firms rarely commercialize disruptive technologies and then prefer to use market-pull strategies to accomplish this. New firms select primarily disruptive technologies and choose either market-pull or technology-push strategies for commercialization. Perhaps more important, time to market for new firms is one-fourth that for established firms. These results suggest that new firms have two advantages in commercialization of disruptive technologies-flexibility in marketing strategy and much shorter times to market. View full abstract»

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  • A framework for process change

    Page(s): 409 - 427
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    Forces such as technology change and increased competition provide opportunities and challenges that drive a firm to continuously evaluate and modify its resource capabilities. As a consequence, a firm's process change strategy is of paramount importance for sustained manufacturing success. However, fundamental elements of process change strategy are not well understood. Long term performance benefits associated with potential process change alternatives are often unclear. Moreover, uncertainty exists regarding the actual benefits that may be attained from various types of process change. Critical issues impacting the proper implementation of process change are frequently underestimated or largely ignored. Therefore, despite the improved performance sought, process change often leads to lower productivity, excessive equipment downtime, and deterioration in quality. As the authors review the relevant empirical and normative literature, a framework emerges that characterizes the salient features of a firm's process change strategy. The underlying dynamics of process change are explored and strategies are discussed to reduce the short-term disruption and enhance the long-term gain. In particular, the authors demonstrate the importance of creating and applying knowledge to improve the outcome of process change. They describe managerial actions that can be taken to reduce various sources of uncertainty associated with process change. Moreover, they identify key contributions as well as limitations of the existing normative literature on process change. Insights from the empirical literature are given that both support elements of the existing normative models and provide direction for future normative research. Thus, the authors seek to aid practicing managers and researchers alike to better understand the full scope and implications of process change. View full abstract»

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  • Modeling impacts of process architecture on cost and schedule risk in product development

    Page(s): 428 - 442
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    To gain competitive leverage, firms that design and develop complex products seek to increase the efficiency and predictability of their development processes. Process improvement is facilitated by the development and use of models that account for and illuminate important characteristics of the process. Iteration is a fundamental but often unaddressed feature of product development (PD) processes. Its impact is mediated by the architecture of a process, i.e., its constituent activities and their interactions. This paper integrates several important characteristics of PD processes into a single model, highlighting the effects of varying process architecture. The PD process is modeled as a network of activities that exchange deliverables. Each activity has an uncertain duration and cost, an improvement curve, and risks of rework based on changes in its inputs. A work policy governs the timing of activity execution and deliverable exchange (and thus the amount of activity concurrency). The model is analyzed via simulation, which outputs sample cost and schedule outcome distributions. Varying the process architecture input varies the output distributions. Each distribution is used with a target and an impact function to determine a risk factor. Alternative process architectures are compared, revealing opportunities to trade cost and schedule risk. Example results and applications are shown for an industrial process, the preliminary design of an uninhabited combat aerial vehicle. The model yields and reinforces several managerial insights, including: how rework cascades through a PD process, trading off cost and schedule risk, interface criticality, and occasions for iterative overlapping. View full abstract»

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  • The hierarchical frame of enterprise activity modeling (HF-EAM)

    Page(s): 459 - 478
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    The description of enterprise activities is the basis for process improvement and the building of information systems. To describe such activities, it is necessary to model all enterprise activities from an abstract level to a system building level in a stepwise and integrated manner. Many of the existing methods are limited in their ability to do this. To cope with these problems, this study proposes the hierarchical frame of enterprise activity modeling (HF-EAM) which is composed of five modeling levels from an abstract level to a system building level: function level, process level, task level, document workflow level, and event flow level. At each level, activity's semantics, characteristic, relation, and schema are clearly defined. The rules for stepwise and integrated activity modeling are then exemplified with the industrial application of the HF-EAM. In addition, comparisons with other modeling methods are made in order to deliberate the pros and cons of the HF-EAM. View full abstract»

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  • Technological discontinuities and interfirm cooperation: what determines a startup's attractiveness as alliance partner?

    Page(s): 388 - 397
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    Incumbent firms often face severe challenges when confronted with technological discontinuous change. However, interfirm cooperation between incumbents and new entrants has been suggested as one way that incumbents can adapt to radical technological change. In particular, the authors are interested in the question of how incumbent pharmaceutical firms go about selecting alliance partners from the population of new biotechnology firms, in their quest to commercialize a discontinuous innovation. The authors propose that a startup's new product development, economies of scale, public ownership, and geographic location in a regional technology cluster are positively associated with the startup's attractiveness as an alliance partner. The authors find broad support for their model. View full abstract»

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  • The challenge of accurate software project status reporting: a two-stage model incorporating status errors and reporting bias

    Page(s): 491 - 504
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    Software project managers perceive and report project status. Recognizing that their status perceptions might be wrong and that they may not faithfully report what they believe, leads to a natural question-how different is true software project status from reported status? Here, the authors construct a two-stage model which accounts for project manager errors in perception and bias that might be applied before reporting status to executives. They call the combined effect of errors in perception and bias, project status distortion . The probabilistic model has roots in information theory and uses discrete project status from traffic light reporting. The true statuses of projects of varying risk were elicited from a panel of five experts and formed the model input. The same experts estimated the frequency with which project managers make status errors, while the authors created different bias scenarios in order to investigate the impact of different bias levels. The true status estimates, error estimates, and bias levels allow calculation of perceived and reported status. The results indicate that at the early stage of the development process most software projects are already in trouble, that project managers are overly optimistic in their perceptions, and that executives receive status reports very different from reality, depending on the risk level of the project and the amount of bias applied by the project manager. Key findings suggest that executives should be skeptical of favorable status reports and that for higher risk projects executives should concentrate on decreasing bias if they are to improve the accuracy of project reporting. View full abstract»

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  • Commercializing discontinuous innovations: bridging the gap from discontinuous innovation project to operations

    Page(s): 330 - 340
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    Since 1995, a multidisciplinary team of researchers has deployed case study methodology to follow the progress of 12 discontinuous innovation projects in ten large R&D-intensive firms. The study has illuminated the challenges of managing the surprisingly difficult transition from R&D project to an operating unit in the eight of the 12 projects that reached transition. A substantial "readiness gap" existed between the project teams and the receiving business units. The challenges have been captured in the form of ten critical questions that must be addressed before a project can be successfully transitioned. Based on an analysis of transition practices, the authors identify seven propositions for improving the effectiveness of transition management suggesting the potential usefulness of the following managerial approaches: (1) conducting a transition readiness assessment; (2) assembling a transition team; (3) establishing an oversight board; (4) developing a transition plan; (5) providing transition funding from corporate sources; (6) laying the groundwork for a big market; and (7) engaging senior management champions. View full abstract»

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  • Adding value in product development by creating information and reducing risk

    Page(s): 443 - 458
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    Many firms expend a great amount of effort to increase the customer value of their product development (PD) processes. Yet, in PD, determining how and when value is added is problematic. The goal of a PD process is to produce a product "recipe" that satisfies requirements. Design work is done both to specify the recipe in increasing detail and to verify that it does in fact conform to requirements. As design work proceeds, certainty increases surrounding the ability of the evolving product design (including its production process) to be the final product recipe (i.e., technical performance risk decreases). The goal of this paper is to advance the theory and practice of evaluating progress and added customer value in PD. The paper proposes that making progress and adding customer value in PD equate with producing useful information that reduces performance risk. The paper also contributes a methodology-the risk value method-that integrates current approaches such as technical performance measure tracking charts and risk reduction profiles. The methods are demonstrated with an industrial example of an uninhabited combat aerial vehicle. View full abstract»

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  • Incorporating component reuse, remanufacture, and recycle into product portfolio design

    Page(s): 479 - 490
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    Product take-back laws have been enacted in the Netherlands, and the European Commission is expected to follow suit. The legislation mandates that manufacturers bear the economic burden of collection and disposal of products at the end of their useful lives. Reuse or remanufacturing of some components might be more cost-effective than disposal and provide an opportunity for recovery of their economic value. However, manufacturers have not traditionally engaged in the long-range planning over several product lifecycles that cost-effective reuse or remanufacturing requires. This paper develops a model for incorporating long-range planning for component reuse in product design. The model employs a product portfolio approach based on market segmentation, rather than a single product. The model is embedded in a decision tool that aids in determining when a product should be taken back, and which components should be reused, recycled, or disposed. A case study of a line of personal computers (PCs) demonstrates an implementation of the model. It also shows that if product take-back is mandated, it is in the PC manufacturer's best interest to shift from selling a product to essentially selling a service by controlling when the product is taken back and, thus, effectively creating a leasing program. The portfolio approach creates opportunities for the design engineer to distribute the cost, reliability, and environmental impacts of component reuse, remanufacture, and recycling in such a way that the end result is higher customer satisfaction than designing one product for all customer groups. View full abstract»

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  • Factors differentiating the commercialization of disruptive and sustaining technologies

    Page(s): 375 - 387
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    The nature of disruptive and sustaining technologies is sufficiently different to require different activities for the commercialization of these technology categories. Few theorists have developed conceptual schemes about the different methods of commercializing these technologies. The authors take the first steps in investigating these differences by contrasting firms that commercialize disruptive technologies with those that commercialize sustaining technologies. They reveal major differences and analyze these in terms of four major commercialization components: product realization, revenue generation, research support, and market potential. Several hypotheses regarding size of the firm, its financial risk profile, and its R&D strategy are utilized. View full abstract»

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  • Forecasting the market diffusion of disruptive and discontinuous innovation

    Page(s): 365 - 374
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    This paper builds on existing knowledge of diffusion forecasting and integrates it with the disruptive and discontinuous innovation literature. Thus, a model is developed for forecasting discontinuous and disruptive innovations. This model takes into account the multiple markets served by discontinuous and disruptive innovation. The role of learning curve effects is also considered. Guidelines, based on the existing literature, are offered for the application of this methodology to forecasting the market diffusion of discontinuous and disruptive innovation. The ability to better forecast the market diffusion of disruptive and discontinuous innovation is especially important now since the convergence of many fields and advances in other areas are creating unprecedented amounts of disruptive and discontinuous innovation. 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