Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Published by Elsevier BV

Print ISSN: 0040-1625


Moving the census into the 21st century
  • Article

December 1993


79 Reads

Joseph F. Coates
PIP The author reviews some issues of concern to the U.S. Bureau of the Census as it adapts to changing technologies and increased demand for its services. Topics covered include improvements in turnaround time between data collection and publication, expansion of services, data delivery, and targeting data users. Particular attention is given to how to improve the data collected through the census.

World Population Growth and the Role of Annual Energy Use per Capita

October 1998


103 Reads

PIP In the context of ongoing world population growth, no permanent growth in materials consumption can be sustained into the future. A sustainable future requires that the world's population stabilize. The author considers the possible coupling of the annual energy use per capita and the population growth rate for each region, and the consequences of such a connection if the world's population is to stabilize. Energy is used as a factor because it is a proactive agent in facilitating increases in the standard of living and changes in the social conditions thought to influence the fertility rate. Historical trends and near-term projections for energy use and population growth rate are used to indicate a possible future path for developing regions. Improvements in the efficiency of energy use and modest cultural changes are used in an example projection of coupled energy use and population growth. For each decade, the incremental increase in annual commercial energy use per capita and a corresponding decrease in population growth rate are chosen to continue the historical trends for developing regions of the world. This approach results in population changes which closely follow the projections of the World Bank for the period up to 2150. World energy use is projected to increase from about 9000 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) today to 15,000-21,000 Mtoe/a by the time the world's population has risen from 6 billion to about 12 billion in the 22nd century. The energy demands of each developing region are compared with potential, indigenous energy sources to determine whether each developing region may be able to cope with its increased energy demand without massive energy imports. The availability of readily moveable, cheap fuels will help the developing world make the transition to a more stable population with a decent standard of living.

Resources, Population, Environment: An Oversupply of False Bad News

February 1981


136 Reads

False bad news about population growth, natural resources, and the environment is published widely in the face of contradictory evidence. For example, the world supply of arable land has actually been increasing, the scarcity of natural resources including food and energy has been decreasing, and basic measures of U.S. environmental quality show positive trends. The aggregate data show no long-run negative effect of population growth upon the standard of living. Models that embody forces omitted in the past, especially the influence of population size upon productivity increase, suggest a long-run positive effect of additional people.

Longevity Benefits and Costs of Resolving Various Risks

February 1979


26 Reads

"Increased longevity is one alternative to lives saved as a measure of benefits derived from large-scale risk-reduction programs that demand resources of the total population. This measure, for several categories of risk, is presented in the context of the risks prevalent to society. Some estimates of the theoretical benefits due to the successful reduction of risks imposed by industry are provided. Cost-effectiveness values and these measures of program impact on longevity are graphically presented for several mortality-reducing programs."

The macrodynamics of international migration as a sociocultural diffusion process. Part A: Theory

December 1992


14 Reads

This study formulates a model of the macrodynamics of international migration using a differential equation to capture the push-pull forces that propel it. The model's architecture rests on the functioning of information feedback between settled friends and family at the destination and potential emigrants at the origin. The intensity of the ensuing migratory flow is determined by a nexus of mediators prevailing in either society and comprising (a) legal prerogatives such as migration laws, (b) economic prerogatives measured by the ratio of income per capita between destination and origin, (c) political prerogatives such as war or other forms of compulsion, (d) natural stimulants such as climatic extremes and epidemics, (e) societal conditions such as job-hierarchy differences and network characteristics, and (f) causes other than the ones motivating the pool members, such as the reasons for the so-called "brain drain." The mathematical entity thus constructed is named the mediating factor, and features both steady-state and transient components that are accommodated by the model. While the model's architecture is independent of any geographic or temporal specificity, the model is capable of portraying migration flow between any given origin/destination pair and over any designated historical period- this through the numerical values of the model parameters derived from the historical, demographic, and economic data of the case. Two specific paradigms of diverse nature serve to demonstrate the model's tenets and pertinence, one being Greek emigration to the United States since 1820, and the other total out-migration from Cyprus since statehood (1946).

Human population dynamics revisited with the Logistic model: How much can be modeled and predicted?
  • Article
  • Full-text available

June 1996


424 Reads

"We revive the logistic model, which was tested and found wanting in early-20th-century studies of aggregate human populations, and apply it instead to life expectancy (death) and fertility (birth)....For death...the logistic portrays the situation crisply. Human life expectancy is reaching the culmination of a two-hundred year-process that forestalls death until about 80 for men and the mid 80s for women. No breakthroughs in longevity are in sight unless genetic engineering comes to help. For birth, the logistic covers quantitatively its actual morphology. However, because we have not been able to model this essential parameter in a predictive way over long periods, we cannot say whether the future of human population is runaway growth or slow implosion... From a niche point of view, resources are the limits to numbers, and access to resources depends on technologies. The logistic makes clear that for homo faber, the limits to numbers keep shifting. These moving edges may most confound forecasting the long-run size of humanity."

Longevity and Life Expectancy

February 1997


41 Reads

"In this article the evolution of life expectancy is examined historically for various European nations at various ages, and according to sex. Appropriate logistic equations describe the facts and extrapolate into the future giving the doctor an indication of what is still to be accomplished and the demographer the tools with which to evaluate the aging of European population in the next 20 years....I posit that the increase in life expectancy is the product of a learning process to remove the accidents and obstacles on the way to the full life potential of an individual: longevity."

People, skills, and resources: An interaction model for world population growth

February 1979


48 Reads

A model is set up that yields the equation followed by world population (P), past and present: P = A/(D - t)M, where t is time and A, D, and M are constants. Cumulated historical population estimates confirm this hyperbolical pattern first noticed by Cailleux, Meyer, and Foerster. Technological indices should grow according to the same pattern; partial confirmation of this part of the model is presented. The growth acceleration crisis that we are now facing may have had a counterpart around 4500 B.C., during the neolithic agricultural revolution. World-population projections up to 2000 A.D. are discussed in the light of the interaction model, with and without resource limitations.

The congressional office of technology assessment: A retrospective and prospects for the post-OTA world

July 1996


30 Reads

The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) was established to serve the United States Congress. In return, however, Congress contributed uniquely to the technology assessment process as it was implemented by OTA It will be enormously challenging to establish the conditions provided by congressional stewardship that enabled OTA's uneasy but effective marriage of expert advice and democratic participation. These congressional contributions are analyzed and implications for future new technology assessment institutions are examined

Joint R&D projects: Experiences in the context of European technology policy

February 2005


1,170 Reads

Joint R&D projects have emerged as a significant model for the development of research and technological activities. Our study examines, through an exploratory analysis, the typology of joint R&D projects and the characteristics of R&D networks in which the projects are developed. In addition, the interrelation between the R&D projects in the context of European Technology Policy is analysed. Findings from survey data collected on joint R&D projects carried out in the context of European Framework Programmes indicate that three groups of R&D projects can be identified (invention, innovation and diffusion projects), and that each of these projects is managed inside the R&D network with a different degree of structuring and external opening. The analysis of interrelations between R&D projects also shows a low, non-linear and non-progressive interrelation. This conclusion is an important question to bear in mind in the design of scientific and technological policies.

Table 1 . Forecasting Techniques
Table 2 .
Table 3 .
Table 4 .
Innovation Forecasting

August 1997


4,326 Reads

Summary form only as given. Technological forecasting is premised on a certain orderliness of the innovation process. Myriad studies of technological substitution, diffusion and transfer processes have yielded conceptual models of what matters for successful innovation. Yet most technological forecasts key on limited empirical measures quite divorced from those innovation process models. The authors glean a number of concepts from various innovation models, then present an array of bibliometric measures that offer promise of operationalizing these concepts. Judicious combination of such bibliometrics with other forms of evidence offers an enriched form of technological forecasting that they name “innovation forecasting”. This provides a good means to combine technological trends, mapping of technological interdependencies and competitive intelligence to produce a viable forecast. They illustrate this approach by assessing the prospects for ceramic engine technologies

Knowledge sharing in an organization - Share or not?

July 2006


385 Reads

Knowledge sharing is an important issue to knowledge management. Because knowledge is considered as a resource of organization competition and a kind of strategic capital, the more the knowledge is expanded in an organization, the more the capacity of competition is. Although there are many theoretical literatures that suggest management means or normative rules to prompt knowledge sharing in an organization, it is difficult to evaluate the effect of knowledge sharing in an organization. The behavior of knowledge sharing among individuals in an organization is involved in the characteristics of knowledge, a conflict of interests, and interaction among actors and the organization that actors reside in. Therefore, the phenomenon of knowledge sharing is the result of dynamics, complexity, nonlinear interaction among knowledge seekers and providers, and the organization that actors belong to. In this paper, agent-based modeling is proposed for exploring the effect of knowledge sharing in an organization. The decisionmaking whether an actor share their knowledge with other is simply drawn an analogy to the prisoners' dilemma game. According to the different actor's payoff due to the characteristics of knowledge, the situations of knowledge sharing in an organization is discussed. According to the result of experiences, we found that no matter what types of knowledge sharing payoff matrices were, agents finally shared their knowledge with others. Nevertheless, most agents would take the Tit-for-Tat strategy.

Types of technology

June 2010


4,067 Reads

Technology is a concept rife with confusion. Here, I argue that technologies can be distinguished as a combination of type of producer and an idealized artefact life history. Using this definition, a number of technologies are identified. The first technology historically, in the Protostomes, was the production of individual or family dwellings. Next came objects such as spider webs for trapping prey. Stigmergy followed, with the social insects, as a collective endeavour to construct a mega-structure using simple rules of accretion. Some birds and primates began to make tools, or simple technological objects whose function is closely related to their form. Humans are distinguished by their ability to make machines. Traditional technology took place once people voluntarily organised into groups with specialised knowledge to produce more complex objects and structures. Monumental objects like ceremonial pyramids came with the command economies of the early agrarian societies, which also resulted in a new category of artefact, the network. Finally, with modern civilizations came ad hoc accretion, or population-level adding-on, to make truly complex technological systems. Developing a theoretical framework within which artefacts, production processes and ways of interacting with them are identified should help the study of technology to become more scientific.

Analysing the Breakthrough of Rock ‘n’ Roll (1930–1970) Multi-Regime Interaction and Reconfiguration in the Multi-Level Perspective

October 2007


1,320 Reads

The breakthrough of rock ‘n’ roll was part of broader transformations in the American music industry, involving changes in music instruments, music recording technology, audiences, radio programming and music styles. These transformations will be analysed as sociotechnical transition, using the multi-level perspective. One characteristic of the case is interactions between multiple regimes: radio and recording. Another characteristic is the presence of strong cultural components, with rock ‘n’ roll as proxy. These characteristics lead to theoretical adjustments in the multi-level perspective. Further analysis also suggests a particular transition path of reconfiguration, in which multiple niche-innovations cumulatively transform the regime.

Economic Development and Its Impact on Occupational Grouping Structure in Korea 1971–1990

January 2001


15 Reads

By utilizing occupational wage data in Korea, this paper attempted to find major determinants of occupational wage performance of occupational groups with a combination of cluster and discriminant analysis. This research yielded three major determinants (annual investment, credit availability, and uncovered interest parity) which were also major determinants in a previously undertaken industrial wage analysis. With these major factors, interpretations gleaned from this research confirm research findings from previous research in economics.

Theory and applications of the Delphi technique: A bibliography (1975–1994)

October 1996


287 Reads

Delphi is a popular, long-range, qualitative forecasting technique that has been extensively applied to a wide variety of problems in different domains. Since the method was conceived in the early 1950s at the Rand Corporation, different variations of Delphi have evolved in an effort to meet the unique forecasting needs of different decision makers. This bibliographic study surveys the literature on the methodology and applications of Delphi over a period of two decades (1975–1994). A total of 463 papers were identified out of which 254 papers treat Delphi as a primary subject while the remaining 209 papers treat Delphi as a secondary subject. The study concludes with a brief commentary on the Delphi technique that may be useful for researchers and practitioners in qualitative forecasting.

The California 1980 Medfly Eradication Program: An analysis of decision making under nonroutine conditions

August 1991


14 Reads

This discussion of the 1980 Medfly Program in San Jose, California, addresses the problems decision makers encountered when they tried to translate theory into action under nonroutine conditions. The participants viewed the medfly problem from three perspectives which are termed in this study rational—technical, organizational, and cognitive. Each perspective supplied decision makers with rules of thumb and assumptions that served to focus attention and, at the same time, to blind them to information that turned out to be crucial under nonroutine conditions. In the context of controversy and public scrutiny, decision makers faced incentives that encouraged them to maintain a routine problem definition and to inhibit cross-cueing between the perspectives. The perspectives were applied sequentially instead of interactively during the problem-solving process, each filtering out a different set of information. As a result, decision makers were sometimes unable to determine important areas of uncertainty, identify and interpret feedback messages, and respond adaptively. These limitations handicapped their ability to translate the sterile insect technique theory into program activities and to assemble an organization capable of faithfully implementing tasks and routines.

Climate change impacts on irrigation water requirements: Effects of mitigation, 1990-2080

September 2007


3,051 Reads

Potential changes in global and regional agricultural water demand for irrigation were investigated within a new socio-economic scenario, A2r, developed at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) with and without climate change, with and without mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Water deficits of crops were developed with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)–IIASA Agro-ecological Zone model, based on daily water balances at 0.5° latitude × 0.5° longitude and then aggregated to regions and the globe. Future regional and global irrigation water requirements were computed as a function of both projected irrigated land and climate change and simulations were performed from 1990 to 2080. Future trends for extents of irrigated land, irrigation water use, and withdrawals were computed, with specific attention given to the implications of climate change mitigation. Renewable water-resource availability was estimated under current and future climate conditions. Results suggest that mitigation of climate change may have significant positive effects compared with unmitigated climate change. Specifically, mitigation reduced the impacts of climate change on agricultural water requirements by about 40%, or 125–160 billion m3 (Gm3) compared with unmitigated climate. Simple estimates of future changes in irrigation efficiency and water costs suggest that by 2080 mitigation may translate into annual cost reductions of about 10 billion US$.

Scenarios of air transport development to 1990 by SMIC 74—A new cross-impact method

December 1976


13 Reads

The purpose of this paper is to describe the results of the application of the SMIC 74 method to a study of the air transport development in the Paris area to 1990. SMIC 74 is a new cross-impact method that provides three kinds of results: (a) Consistent information on the events that may occur and influence the evolution of air transport, (b) Cardinal ranking of the possible air transport development scenarios, (c) Sensitivity analysis. This method helps the decision-maker to choose between alternative strategies. For more detailed information the reader should refer to [1–3, 5].

The adoption of Web 2.0 services: An empirical investigation

May 2011


1,202 Reads

The paper investigates the factors associated with the intensity of use of three Web 2.0 services – video sharing, social networking and social bookmarking – by looking at the users' characteristics and at the technological features. It relies upon a theoretical framework that combines the diffusion of innovation model with the technology acceptance model. However, it goes beyond them by focusing not simply on the determinants of adoption, but on the determinants of the intensity of use, and by introducing variables related to the social influence. The empirical analysis is based upon a survey of 300 users of Web 2.0 services. We find that the compatibility with users' needs and behaviours plays an important role for the intensity of usage of both video sharing and social networking services, while the ease of use positively affects the intensity of usage of social networking services, but has a negative effect on the intensity of usage of video sharing services. Extrinsic job-related motivations are important drivers of the intensive usage of social bookmarking and social networking services, while sharing contents is relevant for video sharing and social networking services. Finally, individual characteristics such as age, education and IT endowment also play an important role.

Power 2000 — A new concept for the electrical power industry in the twenty-first century

September 1993


24 Reads

A new concept for an alternative structure of the electrical power industry in the twenty-first century is outlined. It is argued that through a transition period, the existing dynamic for change driven by technological and economic development would shift the main means of production from mechanical ones into high technology devices utilizing the achievements of “mechatronics”. It is assessed that a biological paradigm would prevail, examples of which are presented to prove its influence on energy systems. These developments will affect power economies, with a direction sketched towards an increase in the use of renewable energies.

Reengineering Technology Governance for Philippines 2000

January 1997


20 Reads

This article presents a framework for reengineering the science and technology support services and facilities of the government of the Philippines, developed by the author as lead consultant for the design phase of a United Nations Development Program—funded project, entitled “Achieving International Competitiveness through Technology Development and Transfer,” the ultimate goal of which is to influence the national development management process for realizing the “Philippines 2000” vision of the country. As the observable worldwide socioeconomic impacts of technological advancements are becoming profound day by day, the government recognizes that technology will be the key factor for achieving desired export gain in the information-intensive twenty-first century. Thus, this is a methodological framework for the governance of technological initiatives in energizing agro-industrial export potentials.

Reducing climate change impacts on agriculture: Global and regional effects of mitigation, 2000-2080

September 2007


1,395 Reads

What are the implications for agriculture of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions? By when and by how much are impacts reduced? Where does it matter most? We investigated these questions within the new A2 emission scenario, recently developed at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis with revised population and gross domestic product projections. Coupling an agro-ecological model to a global food trade model, two distinct sets of climate simulations were analyzed: 1) A non-mitigated scenario, with atmospheric CO2 concentrations over 800 ppm by 2100; and 2) A mitigation scenario, with CO2 concentrations stabilized at 550 ppm by 2100. Impacts of climate change on crop yield were evaluated for the period 1990–2080, then used as input for economic analyses. Key trends were computed over the 21st century for food demand, production and trade, focusing on potential monetary (aggregate value added) and human (risk of hunger) impacts. The results from this study suggested that mitigation could positively impact agriculture. With mitigation, global costs of climate change, though relatively small in absolute amounts, were reduced by 75–100%; and the number of additional people at risk of malnutrition was reduced by 80–95%. Significant geographic and temporal differences were found. Regional effects often diverged from global net results, with some regions worse off under mitigation compared to the unmitigated case.

Exploring technology paths: The development of alternative transport fuels in Sweden 2007–2020

October 2008


210 Reads

By using socio-technical scenarios, we investigate how present policy choices may affect the development of alternative transport fuels in Sweden. One important choice for policy lies in the balance between general tax exemptions stimulating the market for alternative fuels, and funding of research and development more directly promoting new technology. The implications of this choice are illustrated with four diverging development paths until 2020. In the market-oriented scenarios, we illustrate consequences of breaking the dominance of entrenched technologies and demonstrating a growing market potential for alternatives, but also the risks with a large focus on first generation renewable fuels. In the technology-oriented scenarios, we point out the value of keeping variety among niches in this stage of the transition. In conclusion, if policy is implemented without taking the dynamic forces within the system into account, there is a risk that any measure leads the system into a dead end. But if policy strives to balance the development in different parts of the technological system while making use of various prevailing forces of change, a multitude of different efforts can contribute to the development of a more sustainable transport system.

Participatory prognostics in Germany—Developing citizen scenarios for the relationship between biomedicine and the economy in 2014

February 2005


34 Reads






The rapid development of biomedicine demands a trustworthy, proactive regulatory regime that is able to manage progress with genuine regard for ethical, social and legal concerns. With its recent past of eugenics and euthanasia, Germany is particularly concerned with setting up a fair and transparent approach, able to respond quickly to scientific developments as well as societal concerns. This article reports on the development, implementation and evaluation of a citizen scenario workshop as a tool of participatory prognostics, integrating elements from participatory technology assessment and forecasting. In 7 days of highly structured work and expert support, 24 German participants developed four scenarios on “The Relationship of Biomedicine and the Economy in the Year 2014.” Results and evaluation both show that the process (1) leads to scenarios that provide a useful perspective beyond expert opinion; (2) enriches the public and political discourse; and (3) offers a social learning opportunity appreciated by nonprofessionals and experts alike. We are confident in recommending this technique as a useful addition to existing foresight and horizon scanning activities.

Robots, genes and bytes: technology development and social changes towards the year 2020

October 2008


465 Reads

Scientific and technological policy has become a key activity in contemporary societies. In this context we present different projections about the evolution of science and technology in the area of robotics and advanced automation, which in turn shapes the new possibilities and risks emerging in this area in the future. This goes hand-in-hand with an analysis of the interaction of such trajectories with the social context from which they emanate. This interaction reinforces the need for establishing the probable sequence of technological innovation; analysing the impacts on economy and society; and providing qualified information for decision-making, both in policy and business. In this article, we present the results of the prospective research carried out in the field of robotics and advanced automation, paying special attention to the transformation trends of organizations, and the integration of robots in daily life and leisure, and underscoring potential repercussions which may deserve more attention and further research.

Electronics manufacturing in 2020: A national technological university management of technology mini-Delphi

February 1996


43 Reads

A Delphi study projects a series of critical changes in electronics manufacturing over the coming quarter-century. These changes imply a need for early planning to adapt production processes to altered materials, integrated products, environmentally conscious processes, different applications, and a markedly different workforce.

Future S&T management policy issues—2025 global scenarios

November 2004


691 Reads

This article presents four scenarios depicting science and technology (S&T) management dilemmas of the next two decades. The scenarios concern the balance between risk and promise, between the need to steer the directions of S&T, to minimize risk, and the need to maintain a free and unconstrained S&T agenda. These scenarios were constructed in the third year of the Millennium Project's study of this topic. The scenarios were formed in an interactive process with the project's international participants. The key policies that were found to be useful in all of the scenarios include (1) when considering the possibility of the misuse of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists, include the possibility of misuse by a single individual, acting alone; (2) establish mechanisms and techniques for making possible the explicit unintended consequences of scientific research and technology, including malicious uses; (3) for desirable technologies, where it may not be possible to avoid significant risks, develop mitigation strategies in parallel; (4) teach science ethics.

Sustainable global automobile transport in the 21st century: An integrated scenario analysis

July 2006


80 Reads

Transport represents a significant threat to long-term sustainable development, and is one of the fastest-growing consumers of final energy and sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, transport is heavily reliant on petroleum, a limited resource that is also associated with geopolitical risks to security of supply. Together, threats to the global environment and limited resource availability warrant a closer examination of possible pathways to a sustainable transport system. This study describes a sustainable automobile transport scenario based on the SRES B2 scenario, but with key demographic and economic drivers updated to incorporate developments between 1990 and 2000, and revisions to population projections. Multiple sustainable development objectives are incorporated, including: i) continuing economic growth, with a moderate reduction in disparities in income between different world regions; ii) maintaining a buffer of oil and gas resources to enhance security of energy supply, both globally and in vulnerable regions; iii) abating greenhouse gas emissions to ensure atmospheric CO2 concentrations do not exceed double pre-industrial levels; and iv) ensuring global mobility demands are met, without resorting to assumptions about a large counter-trend shift to public transport or lower travel demand. We then explore the technological, economic, fuel production and infrastructure implications of realizing this scenario over the long term. This provides a number of policy insights by identifying critical developments required for the emergence of a sustainable global passenger transport and energy system.

Innovation studies in the 21st century;: Questions from a user's perspective

December 2002


474 Reads

Science-based innovations have played an important role in our society for centuries. In this paper, after a discussion of the concept of innovation, changes in three major developments in the context of innovation processes are analysed: structural changes in our economy, the broadening of decision-making processes and the emergence of the network society, and changes in the knowledge infrastructure. On the basis of this analysis, questions and challenges confronting the players involved in innovation processes and the management of them are identified and topics for a research agenda for innovation researchers that take into account the needs of these players are formulated. The focus is on the macro and meso level, and the broadening of decision-making on innovation processes acts as an important guiding principle. Three lines of research are distinguished on the research agenda: (1) empirical studies of innovation processes and systems, (2) critical reflection on innovation theory, and (3) analysis and support of decision-making processes. With regard to the first line, case studies of innovation in services, life sciences, the relationship between ICT and sustainability and the identification of (intangible) throughput and output indicators are on the agenda. The reflection on theory (line 2) focuses primarily on innovation in chains and clusters, the role of (knowledge intensive) intermediaries and the interaction between processes and systems. Furthermore, innovation studies should also try to contribute towards endogenisation of innovation in other scientific disciplines. With regard to the analysis and support of decision-making processes (line 3), strategic intelligence providing insight into the potential, application and implementation of new technologies and the development of instruments to support players in innovation processes are addressed. An important basic assumption of this paper is that innovation studies should not only strive to deepen the insight into innovation processes and systems, but also to contribute to the development of insights, concepts, methods, techniques and instruments to support various players involved in innovation processes. The major conclusion of this paper is that shifts in the context of innovation processes, more particularly the emergence of the ‘porous society’, will lead to a radical transformation of innovation systems in which (knowledge intensive) intermediaries and the quality of the interface between users and producers play an increasingly important role.

Roadmapping 3G mobile TV: Strategic thinking and scenario planning through repeated cross-impact handling

March 2009


306 Reads

In order to deal with growing uncertainties emerging in the 3G wireless industry and to preserve their competitiveness, managers involved in the wireless value network should identify future success very early and develop their strategic planning on time. This study, based on a Scenario Evaluation and Analysis through Repeated Cross impact Handling, allows the generation of both qualitative and quantitative scenarios and can be used as an operative planning tool. The dynamic forces driving the scenario are based on the main principles of system thinking and multiple features. The probabilistic data have been elicited with the help of 40 executives in USA and Europe working for companies in the different phases of the wireless value chain. Findings allow to identify basic trends and uncertainties useful to develop corporate or business strategies.

The assessment of 3rd generation mobile policy in Korea: A web of stakeholder analysis

November 2008


16 Reads

This study traces a process and a consequence of IMT-2000 adoption: how IMT-2000 and industry's interests are aligned and coordinated in launching 3G services and standards in Korea. Using actor network theory, it examines how and why the IMT-2000 synchronous standard was developed and promoted presenting a description in which actors formulate standardization strategies based on their interests. The trajectory of 3G in Korea shows how standards selections can result in unintended consequences. Despite the focal actor's strategic efforts, the actor-network around IMT-2000 has not been effectively stabilized. This study offers a narrative history of IMT-2000 policy on how various actors and their interests caused unavoidable tension and eventually led to the failure of the policy.

Ernst, A.: Agent-based modeling of the diffusion of environmental innovations—an empirical approach. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change 76, 497-511

May 2009


1,272 Reads

This paper presents an agent-based model of the diffusion of water-saving innovations. The empirical foundation of this model is a study, which was carried out for that specific purpose. As an example case, the diffusion of three water-related innovations in Southern Germany was chosen. The model represents a real geographic area and simulates the diffusion of showerheads, toilet flushes, and rain-harvesting systems. Agents are households of certain lifestyles, as represented by the Sinus-Milieus® from commercial marketing. Agents use two different kinds of decision rules to decide upon adoption or rejection of the modeled innovations: A cognitively demanding deliberate decision rule and a very simple decision heuristic. Thus, the model integrates concepts of bounded rationality. The overall framework for decision-making is the Theory of Planned Behavior, which has been elaborated using innovation characteristics from diffusion research. The model was calibrated with empirical data stemming from a questionnaire survey and validated against independent data. Scenarios for the nearer future show that water-saving innovations will diffuse even without further promotion, and different promotion strategies that relate specifically to both innovations and lifestyles can be pointed out.

Managing technology at the indianapolis 500

January 1995


52 Reads

Technological advance in a particular field is typically the result of numerous incremental improvements, punctuated occasionally by major breakthroughs. If the agents generating these advances pursue a singular objective, it is possible to describe improvements in the relevant target variable through a technological progress function. Progress in qualifying speeds at the Indianapolis 500 motor race provides a record of this kind. Time trials, in which entrants compete for a position in the starting field by completing four laps (10 miles) at top speed, have been conducted in the same, stylized fashion since 1920. The potential effects of technology-push, in the form of radical increases in speeds, have been attenuated, however, by the race organizers' efforts to keep performance improvement well within the technological frontier. Their objective in managing technology, through the setting of appropriate rules and standards, has been to maintain spectator and sponsor interest by restraining the impact of major innovations. A smooth progress function would indicate the successful pursuit of this objective, whereas major discontinuities would suggest a breakdown of prevailing rules. The record shows that long-term continuity has in fact been maintained, albeit in the framework of distinct strategic regimes, that is, constellations of technology and rules that made for significantly different rates of progress. Tracing the key developments that characterize successive regimes yields useful insights into the ways in which innovations and institutional adaptations interact to produce change in a sociotechnical system.

Emergent foresight processes: Industrial activities in wireless communications. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 71, 897-912

November 2004


56 Reads

Technology foresight has received growing attention among those involved in the shaping and implementation of science and technology (S&T) policies. However, although evaluative analyses of foresight exercises have supplied evidence on acclaimed benefits—such as the generation of future-oriented knowledge and strengthening of collaborative networks—they also point to challenges in translating foresight results into actions within research and technology development (RTD) organizations. In this article, we address these challenges by considering the work of the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF), which has sought to promote the conception, development, and diffusion of wireless communication technologies. Specifically, by contrasting this work with well-known government-initiated foresight exercises, we typify so-called explicit, emergent, and embedded foresight activities and explore their interrelationships. Our comparative analysis points to conditions under which policy interventions may not be needed for the emergence of foresight activities that exert a major influence on RTD agendas. It also suggests several context-dependent roles for public policy, among which government-driven foresight exercises and the catalysis of more narrowly focused activities are but two examples.

From the relative to the absolute digital divide in developing countries

October 2009


124 Reads

This paper argues that the literature on the digital divide is based heavily on relative rather than absolute magnitudes, although the latter has more welfare significance. It is clear that the former concept has been falling sharply in recent years yet such calculations have not been made for the absolute divide. One contribution of this paper is to redress this gap in the literature for both mobile phones and the Internet using a sample of more than sixty countries. The results tend to be broadly consistent with findings from the literature on the adoption and diffusion of IT in developing countries generally and Africa in particular.

Does cooperation absorb complexity? Innovation networks and the speed and spread of complex technological innovation

June 2007


64 Reads

A new technological paradigm which rewards cooperation in the innovation of complex technologies seems to have emerged in recent years. Global reach and greater innovation speed are said to be key benefits of network-based complex innovation. By bringing together multiple sources of knowledge and experience, networks of innovative firms and other organizations increasingly appear to be able to absorb the combination of spatial and temporal uncertainty. But what is the empirical evidence underpinning this new paradigm? Beyond case studies and the experience of individual researchers, what do we know about cooperation and the pace and place of complex innovations? Examination of available empirical research fails to confirm the theory that cooperation enhances either the globalization of innovation or its speed.

Academic research and teaching productivities: A case study

July 1995


7 Reads

This paper uses University of Utah data on funded research output, teaching output, faculty, and student enrollment for the academic years 1991–1992 to 1993–1994 for a sample of 31 academic departments to estimate joint-product production functions. It is a micro-micro theory approach. Single equation ordinary least squares (OLS) and simultaneous equations generalized least squares (GLS) by linear structural relations (LISREL) estimating methods are used. Research and teaching productivities are compared to the Schumpeterian hypothesis relating to department size and research productivity. Falling teaching productivity and rising research productivity as faculty size increases are among the results. The time effect on production performance was not significant. Implications for the supply of basic research are discussed. Various hypotheses and implications for social policy are discussed.

Systematic acceleration of radical discovery and innovation in science and technology

October 2006


70 Reads

A systematic two-component approach (front-end component, back-end component) to bridging unconnected disciplines and accelerating potentially radical discovery and innovation (based wholly or partially on text mining procedures) is presented. The front-end component has similar objectives to those in the classical literature-based discovery (LBD) approach, although it is different mechanistically and operationally. The front-end component will systematically identify technical disciplines (and their associated leading experts) that are directly or indirectly-related to solving technical problems of high interest. The back-end component is actually a family of back-end techniques, only one of which shares the strictly literature-based analysis of the classical LBD approach. The non-LBD back-end techniques (literature-assisted discovery) make use of the human experts associated with the disparate literatures (disciplines) uncovered in the front-end to generate radical discovery and innovation.Specifically, in the literature-assisted discovery operational mode, these disparate discipline experts could be used as:1.Recipients of solicitation announcements (BAA, SBIR, MURI, journal Special Issue calls for papers, etc.),2.Participants in Workshops, Advisory Panels, Review Panels, Roadmaps, and War Games,3.Points of Contact for Field Science Advisors, Foreign Field Offices, Program Officer site visits, and potential transitions.

ESTEEM: Managing societal acceptance in new energy projects: A toolbox method for project managers

September 2009


218 Reads

There is now a large literature dealing with the policy question of public participation in technical choice and technology assessment (TA). Files such as the mad cow crisis, genetically modified food, and the emerging nanotechnologies have been edified into a public problem, and have given place to a number of experiments and reviews about participatory arrangements. Much less attention has been devoted so far to the application of the TA framework to more local and limited projects–not yet and maybe never reaching the public problem status–and the management of their societal dimensions. Among them, new energy technology represents a very interesting field for investigation: many of the new energy enjoy a global positive public image whereas the local implementation of their implantation often raises societal questions and oppositions. This paper describes an original experiment conducted in the field of new energy technologies during which a participatory technology assessment inspired approach was applied to a number of individual and local projects. A framework methodology called ESTEEM was developed to facilitate such participatory process to take place, and it was tested and evaluated in 5 projects located in 5 different countries over Europe. A detailed discussion of the ESTEEM method and its application to one case study, a Carbon Sequestration project in The Netherlands, is provided. We show that a major question in the application in such participatory framework is to establish a reflective practice of project management based on situated and constructive interactions between project promoters and project stakeholders.

Probability of idea acceptance in a technologically oriented social structure

October 1980


6 Reads

An investigation is made of the probability of acceptance of unusually good research ideas communicated upward in a four-tier research hierarchy on the assumption that these ideas follow a Poisson distribution and a Markov random walk. Methods of improving the probability of acceptance of unusually good ideas are discussed.

Meeting the broadband access infrastructure demands: The promise of Gigabit Ethernet

January 2005


39 Reads

Global Internet traffic growth continues to create bandwidth demand in the telecommunications network. As 100 Mb/s Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet LANs are widely installed in enterprises, the Intranet bandwidth grows quickly. With active adoption of ADSL and cable modem broadband accesses in the SOHO and residential markets, more data traffic is generated in these markets as well. Presently, most telecom carriers use synchronous optical network/synchronous digital hierarchy (SONET/SDH) equipment to “aggregate” data traffic in the metropolitan area network (MAN) before accessing the Internet backbone network. Because of the intrinsic limitations of SONET/SDH equipment in transporting data traffic, especially in terms of bandwidth scalability and provisioning efficiency, there is a need to find a broadband access solution that can overcome the drawbacks of SONET/SDH. Because the inherent simplicity of the technology, Ethernet offers cost effectiveness, ease of networking, packet-based IP friendly protocol, and rapid provisioning advantages while competing with other networking technologies. These advantages coupled with the newly developed gigabit WAN capability have well-positioned Gigabit Ethernet as a compelling technology to break the bandwidth bottleneck in the MAN environment. In this paper, we review the enhancement of Gigabit Ethernet technology and discuss the pros and cons of using Gigabit Ethernet technology in the MAN. We also address the implications of this technology evolution on telecom carriers.

Achieving Competitive Capabilities in E-services

September 2002


192 Reads

What implications does the Internet have for service operations strategy? How can business performance of e-service companies be improved in today's knowledge-based economy? These research questions are the subject of this paper. We propose a model that links the e-service company's knowledge-based competencies with their competitive capabilities. Drawing from the current literature, our analysis suggests that services that strategically build a portfolio of knowledge-based competencies, namely human capital, structural capital, and absorptive capacity have more operations-based options, than their counterparts who are less apt to invest. We assume that the combinative capabilities of service quality, delivery, flexibility, and cost are determined by the investment in intellectual capital. Arguably, with the advent of the Internet, different operating models (e.g., bricks-and-mortar, clicks-and-mortar, or pure dot-com) have different strategic imperatives in terms of knowledge-based competencies. Thus, the new e-operations paradigm can be viewed as a configuration of knowledge-based competencies and capabilities.

The Acquisition of Firm Technological Capabilities in Mexico's Open Economy, The Case of Vitro

January 2001


34 Reads

This case study explores the evolution of Vitro technological effort as a response to the export orientation of the Mexican economy. It includes a brief analysis of Vitro's competition in the glass market, this company's technology strategy prior to the opening of market, and the evolution of this strategy as a result of opening of the markets. The study also includes the presentation of a conceptual framework, in which Vitro as a case study is analyzed, and an empirical section, aimed at assessing the evolution of Vitro's technological capabilities. This section identifies the main technologies embodied in the processes of glass manufacturing, and a comparison is made between them, before and after the liberalization of the markets. The findings and preliminary conclusions suggest that as the market opens, innovative efforts tend to be more specialized, and there is an attempt to master production engineering faster, and to make adaptations when this is required to increase exports.

"Globalization": Modeling Technology Adoption Timing Across Countries

February 1997


82 Reads

We study global adoption processes where the units of observation are countries which sequentially adopt a particular innovation. Our goal is to provide a better understanding of how exogenous and endogenous country characteristics affect this diffusion process. We develop a general model of global adoption processes that allows researchers to test extant theories of cross-country adoption, and illustrate the approach using data from the cellular telephone industry for 184 countries. In our application, we find support for the existence of a global "demonstration effect": as the number of countries adopting the technology becomes larger, the likelihood of "similar" countries following their example increases. We also find that isolated economies lag in adopting technologies, and that countries with homogenous and concentrated populations, and with a high level of economic development are, on average, earlier adopters. Finally, our model supports the managerial intuition that, eventually, all countries will adopt cellular technology.

How does a cluster relocate across the border? The case of information technology cluster in the Taiwan–Suzhou region

March 2009


121 Reads

Since the end of the Cold War, cross-border regions have proliferated at the borders of formal socialist countries, especially in China. Existing accounts of these emergences treat them either at the macro-level, focusing on political initiatives, or at the micro-level, with emphasis on social and economic relations. This paper uses the Taiwan–Suzhou cross-border region as a case study for suggesting a meso-level approach, arguing that as a result of continuous interactions between individual Taiwanese information technology firms and opportunity structures generated by the selective opening of the Chinese border, the formation of cross-border high-tech regions is shaped and determined at the level of the industrial system. The industrial system acts as a platform for coordination and cooperation between local elites and foreign investors and among individual firms within this system. The formation of the cross-border high-tech region thus involves the relocation and institutional re-embedding of industrial systems across the border, which has been accompanied by the systemic building of Taiwanese firms on the one hand, and the institutional innovation of Chinese local states on the other.

From Scenario Thinking to Strategic Action

September 2000


861 Reads

Scenarios are not an end in themselves. They are a management tool used to improve the quality of executive decision making. However, experience shows that using scenarios in this way proves more difficult than developing them. This article examines the causes of this implementation problem and suggests ways of overcoming the cultural bias toward single-point forecasting. Starting with a clear-cut decision focus for the scenarios, the author develops a primer or step-by-step methodology for moving from scenarios to strategy, outlining four different approaches. He suggests that only after a great deal of practice will managers be able to move from this elementary approach to a more intuitive and insightful use of scenarios as a guide to strategy.

The influence of perceived uncertainty on entrepreneurial action in the transition to a low-emission energy infrastructure: The case of biomass combustion in The Netherlands

October 2010


119 Reads

The transition towards renewable energy production will not occur without the involvement of entrepreneurs who dare to take action amidst uncertainty. In an earlier article, a conceptual model was introduced for analyzing how perceived uncertainties influence the decisions and actions of entrepreneurs involved in innovation projects that aimed at developing and implementing renewable energy technologies. In this article, the conceptual model is applied to stand-alone biomass combustion projects in the Netherlands. Although none of the biomass combustion projects has been abandoned, some entrepreneurs clearly have more difficulty to turn their project into a success than others. To create insight into the underlying dynamics of these projects, the article analyzes what types of positive or negative interaction patterns occur over time between (internal or external) factors in the project environment, perceived uncertainties, motivation and entrepreneurial action and how these patterns can be stimulated or prevented. The results provide several lessons to take into account when designing policies for stimulating the development and implementation of biomass combustion.

Current Foresight Activities in

February 1999


38 Reads

During the early 1990s, technology foresight has become much more widespread. First pioneered in the United States and later in Japan, it has now spread to continental Europe. One of the first engagements in modern national foresight occurred in the Netherlands. The task is to identify the areas of strategic research and the emerging generic technologies likely to yield the greatest socio-economic benefits. The decentralized foresight approaches are less holistic than elsewhere and are concerned with selected areas. In Germany, parallel approaches have been adopted for looking systematically into the longer-term future of science, technology, the economy, and society. In an era characterized by ever fiercer global economic competition, and with the burden of unifying two different science systems and over-stretched public expenditure budgets, the German governments on federal and state levels and indeed the public are coming to expect more direct economic and social benefits from science in return to their investment. Decentralized types of foresight are also observed in Austria, whereas in Hungary the first attempts to arrive at a foresight program seem to be modelled after British experiences.

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