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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 2 • Date May 1975

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  • Contents

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 1
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  • About this issue

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 49
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    One of the most discussed and philosophized-about processes of management — especially the management of technical functions such as Research, Development, and Engineering (R, D, &E) — is “communication.” In addition to the philosophizing, however, there has also been a great deal of measurement of various aspects of the communication process, as illustrated by the Connolly article and the article by Taylor and Utterback. There is, however, a very large application gap, in terms of using the results of the many completed communication studies in designing and operating R, D, &E organizations. Most of the studies reported in the literature (many of them in these Transactions over the past two decades) are based on specially-focused studies of one or a few organizations, except for the multi-organizational surveys. Therefore, like any research findings, they require adaptation and probably some further “development” before they can be applied in a specific operating organization. However, much of the data and results in this literature do have strong implications for management practice and it is a pity that more operating managements have not made systematic attempts to use them in design, redesign, or management of their R, D, &E organizations. Certainly, some of the “communication” problems encountered in any organization will appear unique — due to the particular personalities and situations involved in that organization at that time. Given that degree of uniqueness, there is still much in the communication literature that the practitioner of R, D, &E management can profitably adapt to his own situation. We would be very interested in reporting, as technical articles or “technical and management notes,” attempts by managers to do this, whether they are successful or not. Duersch's article on a business simulation is one of a growing number of a- tempts to systematically capture the dominant economic and other features of a company's operating environment and to deal with the inherent uncertainty by the potentially powerful methods of simulation. Again, it could be a worthwhile exercise for managers to attempt to formulate a simulation model of their own organization's environmental and management strategies. In some cases, even the early steps of the simulation — developing a crude flow model — can lead to useful insights and, perhaps, suggest beneficial policy changes. Another general method of “simulation,” this time of future technological developments, is presented by Sahal. Although this is not a simulation in the same sense as Duersch's, the methodology can also be used for purposes of planning and strategy development. View full abstract»

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  • Communication nets and uncertainty in R & D planning

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 50 - 54
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    This paper reports an empirical study of 115 participants in R & D planning in a large Federal Government agency. Two hypotheses were tested, examining the relationship between type of work planned and (a) the participants' perceived uncertainties and (b) the centralization of the decision-related communication net. The data indicate that perceived uncertainties tend to be lower, and communications nets more centralized, as work planned becomes more applied. Secondary findings indicate that increased decentralization of the decision-related communication net may be an adaptive response to organizational decision problems of high uncertainty. Further research is suggested, and some general implications for the working manager are identified. View full abstract»

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  • A simple model for business simulations

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 55 - 76
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    A business model is developed, based on the ideas of behavioral modeling, and two typical businesses are simulated including representations of environments and management strategies. The model is intended as a flexible framework for simulations useful in planning and is easily modified to represent particular situations, operating criteria, and available information. The performances of the two businesses are computed for a number of combinations of environment and management strategy. View full abstract»

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  • Cross-impact analysis and prediction of technological developments: A case study of farm tractors

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 76 - 79
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    A `real' forecast of technological developments in farm tractors is presented here. The methods of Delphi and cross-impact analysis are used and briefly described along with some criticism in the background of the experience gained from their application. In addition, some purely methodological findings are noted. View full abstract»

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  • A longitudinal study of communication in research: Technical and managerial influences

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 80 - 87
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    A number of variables were examined with respect to technical communication patterns in a research and development laboratory in the authors' initial investigation. Observed changes in technical assignment and administrative control were noted in three of the groups studied. Generally, the immediate response of a group of engineers to administrative change was to retain the communication patterns prior to the change. Changed technical missions resulted in less communication for a change group than for stable groups. Project teams depended upon links with the functional groups to which the engineers were previously assigned. A second study, eighteen months later, provides important data regarding the effects of change on technical communication patterns. The time lapse was sufficient for the administrative change groups to restructure their technical information patterns into self-contained entities. View full abstract»

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  • R & D management

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 88
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  • R & D/technology/innovation management (R&D/TI)

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 89
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    The purpose of this announcement is to inform Transactions readers of the formation of our interest group within the Academy of Management. The Academy is an organization of management educators and practitioners whose principal objectives are to foster the general advancement of research, learning, teaching, and practice in the field of management. The purpose of the interest group is to provide a forum for academics and practicing R&D managers to “close the gap” with respect to a) the relevance of research on R&D/TI management, and b) questions concerned with the educational aspects of training for R&D/TI management. Formal activities of the group were initiated at the 1974 National Convention of the Academy of Management, with a program consisting of research paper presentations and a panel discussion on the teaching of R&D/TI management. Our program at the 1975 Convention (10–13 August, Marriott Hotel, New Orleans) will follow a similar format. People interested in the group's activities should be reminded that we interpret R & D/Technology/Innovation Management in a broad sense and consider it as encompassing the areas usually included under “research-on-research,” for example: View full abstract»

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  • About the authors

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 90
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  • Membership application: IEEE Engineering Management Society

    Publication Year: 1975 , Page(s): 91
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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. 

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

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