Imagine an organisation faced with a particular problem whose solution requires a degree of technology or expertise not available in-house. Where can the organisation find help? Large companies are generally self sufficient in their R&D requirements. They frequently have large and well equipped research departments. Many also outsource their R&D or keep an eye in the research scene looking for new developments of potential benefit. Smaller companies are normally less self sufficient, and they tend to rely on their suppliers when they need to solve a particular problem. Regardless of size, all companies may, at some stage, need to go into an unfamiliar field and they may then resource to a directory or seek external help to find the appropriate information. The objectives of our project were to: investigate how exploitable innovations are identified in the university sector; understand which factors affect the identification and selection of new technology, particularly by small firms (SMEs); analyse the obstacles to technology transfer between universities and SMEs; and examine the feasibility of an electronic communication network for disseminating information about new technologies. The first part of the paper uses the idea of “configuring the user” to shed light on recent thinking (especially in government and policy) about “the problem of SMEs”. The second part reports our investigation of the potential of the World Wide Web as a virtual market in technology and expertise. We conclude with some suggestions about ways of tackling the problem
Hong Kong's manufacturers have become some of the most efficient
toy producers in the world and have become the biggest exporter of toys
in the world. However, the Hong Kong toy industry is mainly original
engineering manufacturing (OEM) and does not invest much in R&D,
such as the creation of new toys or development of new toy designs. With
the rising competition from mainland China and other Asian countries, it
is important for Hong Kong companies to invest more in R&D and to
develop their own design capabilities or more value-added edges which
cannot be substituted easily by our competitors. The research reported
in this paper aims to explore the success factors for new product
development in the Hong Kong toy industry. Although there is plenty of
research on this issue, critical success factors (CSF) for new product
development (NPD) may be country and industry specific. Research on CSF
for NPD, especially at the project and functional levels, for toy
industry has not been reported. Using the biblical metaphor model, this
research identifies a group of critical success factors for each phase
of new product development. What is more, the research also reveals what
factors have been implemented and what have not. The implications from
this search, therefore, are very obvious and companies can easily
identify the areas for future improvement. Comparing with previous
research, this research is more operational. Since the research is
especially designed for Hong Kong toy industry, the results may not be
generated to other industries in other countries. However, the research
design and the data analysis framework can be used to investigate the
same problem in other industries
Entrepreneurship is the engine of innovation. The accumulated tacit knowledge and culture of the entrepreneur are the resources essential to create wealth from research commercialisation leading to technological innovation and the creation of New Technology Based Firms (NTBFs). The authors explore, in definitional terms, discovery of entrepreneurial opportunity and entrepreneurial capacity as the essential elements in the interaction between all types of tacit knowledge (technological, managerial, risk management, financial, etc.). These both derive from and affect interactions between the institutions (sets of rules), organisational culture and external business environment. They also interact with the entrepreneur’s own background and personality. This leads then to a wider analysis of the importance of such tacit knowledge as the glue bringing together effective mechanisms for wealth creation out of research commercialisation.
The upgrading of the traditional laboratory standard for analytical chemistry from a combination of ISO/IEC Guide 25 and EN45001 to ISO17025 has generated much discussion across the doping control sector for animal sports. This paper will outline an approach which originates within the spirit of the new standard, but which is then extended to a pragmatic implementation—which has led to full accreditation through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). A number of problem areas are highlighted and solutions proposed.Affected laboratories are distributed relatively sparsely around the world, and developments that occur internationally will undoubtedly have an impact upon the evolution of accreditation standards. It is, therefore, imperative that effective communication takes place to disseminate developments, and this paper is intended to prompt such discussion.
This article deals with system innovation in Freeman and Perez's innovation typology (incremental, radical, system, techno-economic paradigm). This article conceptualises these changes as transitions from one socio-technical system to another. These transitions are co-evolution processes that are not only about technological discontinuities, but also about markets, user practices, regulation, culture, infrastructure and science. In a critical discussion of co-evolution literatures, the article distinguishes three levels of co-evolutionary processes. To understand transitions, these insights are combined in a multi-level perspective, consisting of niche, regime and landscape levels. Transitions come about when co-evolutionary dynamics at these three levels link up and reinforce each other. The perspective is illustrated with a historical case study: the transition from aviation systems based on propeller-aircraft to aviation systems based on turbojet aircraft (1930–1970). The case study provides not just an evolutionary economic analysis of technological change, but also deals with the long-run evolution of technology and the socio-economic system.
This paper develops a general framework for understanding how the innovation process can be effectively used as a strategic management tool. The strategic innovation framework is examined in light of the historical evolution of the U.S. airline computer reservation systems industry. The role of general managers in making ‘entrepreneurial choices’ is discussed.RésuméCet article développe une structure générale pour arriver a compredre la façon dont le processus d'innovation peut être utilisé comme outil de gestion stratégique. La structure de l'innovation stratégique est analysée à la lumière de l'évolution historique de l'industrie des Systèmes de Réservation Microinformatisés (CRS) des lignes aériennes aux ÉU. On discute le rôle joué par les directeurs généraux à l'heure de la prise des “decisions de haut risque”.ZusammenfassungDiese Arbeit entwickelt einen allgemeinen Rahmen, um zu verstehen, wie der Innovationsprozess effektiv als strategisches Managementmittel eingesetzt werden kann. Dieser strategische Innovationsrahmen wird in Anbetracht der historischen Entwicklung der Computerreservierungssysteme der Luftfahrtindustrie (CRS) der Vereinigten Staaten untersucht. Die Rolle der Unternehmensleiter beim Fällen unternehmerischer Entscheidungen wird ebenfalls diskutiert.ResumenEn esta ponencia se desarolla una base general para llegar a comprender la manera en la que el proceso de la innovación puede ser aprovechado como útil de la dirección estratégica. Se examina el marco de la innovación estratégica a la luz de la evolución histórica de la industria de los CRS estadounidenses. Se considera el papel desempeñado por la dirección general a la hora de tomar las “decisiones empresariales”.
Yugoslavia's dominant auto manufacturer, Crvena Zastava, was established in 1954 to build Fiat derivatives for the heavily protected home market. But, from the late 1970s onward, it came under increasing pressure to export a high proportion of its output. This led to a series of expensive investment programmes to enable the factory to produce internationally saleable vehicles. Investment costs were inflated by the efforts of the Yugoslavs to achieve technological emancipation. The cars had to be exported at a heavy loss, because of the factory's incapacity to establish an efficient production technology, and because they could only be exported as discount products.Emphasis is given to three programmes, the development of the Yugo range in 1980–1981, the ill-fated Yugo-America export drive of 1985–1988, and the ruinous Florida and Kabrio projects which were brought forward to meet the Yugo-America commitment. In aggregate, these projects entailed real losses of around US$1 billion, a sum which probably exceeded Zastava's value added over the same period.The paper goes on to review the personalities of Zastava's top managers, the policies pursued by them, and the pressures which led them into consistently dysfunctional decision making. It concludes with a bleak appraisal of Zastava's prospects following the breakup of Yugoslavia.
This article addresses the topic of radical innovation, making two additions to the strategic niche management (SNM) approach, which conceptualises how innovations cross the ‘valley of death’. First, it articulates the theoretical foundations of SNM, theorizing the connections between social constructivist and evolutionary theories of technical change. Second, the resulting socio-cognitive evolution perspective is used to explain the different patterns in biogas development in the Netherlands and Denmark. In both countries, biogas experienced ups and downs, but the timing and shape of developments differ. A longitudinal, comparative case analysis shows that the socio-cognitive evolution perspective is useful in explaining these differences.
The author suggests that innovatory development for one industry may have much wider applications in other industries, not necessarily related to the industry for which the innovation was developed. The mapping of interindustry flows of new technology greatly assists our understanding of technological change and its resultant economic impact. Policy decisions with regard to the funding of research and development are of importance once it is realized that the decisions may not be based on the industry which gains the most benefit from the innovation.The objectives of the paper are twofold: 1. To develop a model of interindustry technology flows based on Canadian industry between 1978 and 1989; to identify both sources and users of new technology and to examine their evolution over time. 2. To explore whether or not the rate of change in technology flows can be correlated with the rate of change in input-output flows of goods.Taking into account the interindustry flows increases our understanding of the sources of information for innovation and its diffusion, and also the effects of technological change on productivity.The author finally explores the relationship between changes over time in the technology matrix and the input-output matrix which includes an empirical test. It is suggested that the wealth of information from technology flow matrices indicates that these could become an important analytical tool for the study of technological change.
This paper presents an evaluation of the 1984–1996 Australian Passenger Motor Vehicle Plan. The basic approach adopted for data gathering was interviews with senior managers of companies immediately affected by the industry plan about the history of development, implementation and content of the plan. Additionally, a discussion forum was held comprising industry representation and managers from supplier companies to the automotive manufacturers. Based on these interviews, the paper isolates the critical success factors and impediments to their success. Finally, the paper presents a framework for the successful development and implementation of industry plans.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) has been identified as one of the ten greatest contributory technologies of the 21st century. This technology has found a rapidly growing market, with global sales expected to top US $7 billion by 2008. An increasing variety of enterprises are employing RFID to improve their efficiency of operations and to gain a competitive advantage. To shed light on RFID trends, and contributions, a historical review and bibliometric analysis are included in this research. The bibliometric analytical technique was used to examine this topic in SCI journals from 1991 through November of 2005. Also, a historical review method was used to analyze RFID innovation, adoption by organizations, and market diffusion. From the analysis of the study's findings, supply chain management (SCM), health industry, and privacy issues emerge as the major trends in RFID. Also, the contributions of the RFID industry and forecasts of technological trends were also analyzed, concluding that RFID will be more ubiquitously diffused and assimilated into our daily lives in the near future.
Following the switch to the market economy, government policy envisaged putting R&D onto a commercial footing, so that state funding could be replaced with private funding. The commercialisation of research has, however, not fulfilled expectations due to the dire straits of the Russian economy and to the ingrained tendency to emphasise the high technological level of products without properly investigating the demand for them. The creation of science parks has been one of the few measures adopted in order to favour this transformation, but in the absence of comparative statistics it is hard to judge their contribution to the development of tenant firms. Science parks in St. Petersburg have been rather successful in securing financing for their tenants, but deficient in providing management assistance. The transfer of technology to industry has been weak due to the limited demand for high-tech products. Many firms survive in a embryonic state and this explains why despite the difficulties the number of jobs created has been substantial, although presumably many are low paid. This picture is, however, less applicable to innovation centres because of their policy of accepting mainly firms at a more advanced stage of development.
What is innovation and what determines its development in manufacturing firms? The literature on the topic has evolved exponentially during the last decades. However, the divergence of the research results makes it so that the innovation process is still poorly understood. Relying on a systematic review of empirical studies published between 1993 and 2003, this article propose and discuss a framework which brings together a set of variables related to the innovation process and the internal and contextual factors driving it. The ensuing results highlight several avenues which would help managers and policy makers to better foster innovation and researchers to better channel their efforts in studying the phenomenon.
Technology management is a process, which includes planning, directing, control and coordination of the development and implementation of technological capabilities to shape and accomplish the strategic and operational objectives of an organization. This paper surveys technology management (TM) development using a literature review and classification of articles from 1995 to 2003 with keyword index in order to explore how TM methodologies and applications have developed in this period. Based on the scope of 546 articles of technology management methodologies, this paper surveys and classifies TM methodologies using the eight categories of: TM framework, General and policy research, Information systems, Information and communication technology, Artificial intelligence/expert systems, Database technology, Modeling, and Statistics methodology, together with their applications for different research and problem domains. Discussion is presented indicating future development for technology management methodologies and applications as follows: (1) TM methodologies tend to develop towards expert orientation, and TM applications development is a problem-oriented domain. (2) Integration of qualitative and quantitative methods, and integration of TM technologies studies may broaden our horizons on this subject. (3) The ability to continually change and obtain new understanding is the power of TM methodologies and will be the subject of future work.
This paper is based on the initial findings of a nation-wide survey of technological innovation activities of 2100 firms in Turkish manufacturing industry. Our findings show that the innovation activities are more widespread in the firms having large sizes of employment. In some sectors of manufacturing industry 60–80% of the firms undertake innovation activities. Improving the product quality and opening up new markets rank at the top of the main objectives of innovation activities. In-house R&D turn out to be the main sources of information assisting innovation activities. 51.2% of the firms that are engaged in innovation carry out joint R&D with consultancy firms, and 52.3% of the firms with which Turkish firms co-operate are in the EU countries. In the majority of the manufacturing sectors, more than 50% of the total sales are derived from technologically new and improved products. Only 19% of the firms have had patent applications with a return of very few patented inventions. A correlation analysis of basic indicators of innovation activities shows that, for instance, sales of new products, R&D expenditures, and firm sizes correlate only weakly.
The present paper derives lessons learned about effective technology transfer from research on the technology transfer process in New Mexico over the past several years. Technology transfer from national R&D laboratories and from research universities provides the main basis for economic growth by metropolitan regions in the United States. New Mexico is (1) technology-rich because of Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of New Mexico, and (2) entrepreneur-friendly. High-technology spin-offs are a particularly effective means of technology transfer. The process of technology transfer is a difficult type of communication, and demands trained and skilled personnel, adequate resources, and organizational and other reward/incentive structures.
In a quest to improve air quality, many experts are supportive of using hydrogen as the fuel of the future. More recently, two other key objectives of several nations have been instrumental in accelerating development for an alternative fuel, independence from foreign oil and securing renewable, affordable energy sources.Most experts suggest that hydrogen as an alternative fuel has the elements to address all three of these concerns. In its purest form there are zero emissions, the supply is endless and production may use a variety of energy sources, including renewable.The purpose of this paper is to explore and understand the challenges related to moving to a hydrogen-fueled economy. The efforts of some countries and leaders in the automotive sector are reviewed as they strive to develop the technology and find possible answers to production, storage and distribution challenges.There are many opinions on how best to proceed. Some favor moving directly to a hydrogen infrastructure, while others advocate transitioning by using hydrogen fuel cell technology. While the problems of migrating to hydrogen are complex, there is no doubt that hydrogen is the energy source for the 21st century.
A new concept, ‘Manufacturing excellence’, is presented to enhance the suitability of tangible goods production for pursuing human happiness and world peace, whilst eliminating the earth-destructive activity caused by conventional mass production, mass consumption and mass disposal which wastes enormous amounts of valuable natural resources. Several approaches to manufacturing excellence — CIM-led factory automation, human-centred flexible manufacture, production for customer satisfaction, green production for environmental elegance, high added-value production, etc. — are discussed. Finally, socially appropriate manufacturing is proposed as a production perspective for the 21st century.
The commercialisation of scientific and technological knowledge produced within publicly funded research institutions such as universities, laboratories, research centres, and so forth, is increasingly considered by policymakers as raw material for developing and sustaining regional economic growth. This paper focuses on one of the most promising ways to transfer research results to the market place, namely, the creation of academic spin-offs. Its main aim is to identify, understand, and distinguish the major issues raised by the creation of such companies from the point of view of both public and academic authorities. To achieve this, some well-known international spin-off support programmes have been benchmarked. We used these observations to build up a general model that puts forward the major issues involved in the transformation of research results into the creation of economic value within the perimeter of universities. Based on inductive research, the model is composed of four successive stages interacting in a sequential manner.
This paper reports research undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of social scientists and manufacturing engineers, into the longstanding problem of technology transfer. It particularly focuses on the problem of how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) identify and acquire new technology from universities. The research comprises an analysis of the problem in terms of the social relations between universities and SMEs, and an attempt to build and establish the feasibility of a technology bank world wide web (WWW) site for use by SMEs. Using concepts from recent work in social studies of science and technology, it is argued that a key to addressing the problem is to understand SMEs as unconfigured users both of government and policy initiatives, and of technological innovation.
In this paper, we explore the relationship between aspects of firms’ potential absorptive capacity (PACAP) on their involvement in exploratory alliances. Our study is based on survey data from firms in the US and European (the UK, Germany, France and Ireland) biopharmaceutical sectors. We use zero inflated negative binomial (ZINB) models to capture the number of exploratory alliances in which firms are engaged, and find that the assimilation dimension of PACAP is significantly more important than the acquisition dimension. More specifically, we find that skill levels and continuous R&D play an important role in determining biopharmaceutical firms’ exploratory alliance activity, while R&D intensity proves relatively unimportant. Our results also highlight differences between the determinants of alliance behaviour in the US and Europe: in the US firms’ skill levels prove more significant, while in Europe continuity of R&D proves more significant. Commonalities are also observed, however, with firms’ strategic focus and an inverted ‘U’ shaped relationship between firm size and alliance engagement evident in both areas.
This paper analyses the influence of two variables related with industrial structure (technological opportunity and knowledge spillovers) and one management variable (absorptive capacity) on the innovative efforts developed by firms. These relationships are investigated in a total of 406 Spanish manufacturing companies with an established degree of innovative activity. In addition the nature of the variable ‘absorptive capacity’ is considered and an index is suggested that would render this concept operational through analysis of the factors defining it and by which the process of building it up is influenced. As a result of this study it is demonstrated that the absorptive capacity variable determines innovative effort to a greater extent than the two structural variables. It is also shown that absorptive capacity has a moderating effect on the relationship between technological opportunity and innovative effort being this one of the most remarkable results obtained from the work.
The discussion on open innovation suggests that the ability to absorb external knowledge has become a major driver for competition. For R&D intensive large firms, the concept of open innovation in relation to absorptive capacity is relatively well understood. Little attention has; however, been paid to how both small firms and firms, which operate in traditional sectors, engage in open innovation activities. The latter two categories of firms often dispose of no, or at most a relatively low level of, absorptive capacity. Open innovation has two faces. In the case of inbound open innovation, companies screen their environment to search for technology and knowledge and do not exclusively rely on in-house R&D. A key pre-condition is that firms dispose of “absorptive capacity” to internalise external knowledge. SMEs and firms in traditional industries might need assistance in building absorptive capacity. This paper focuses on the role of collective research centres in building absorptive capacity at the inter-organisational level. In order to do so, primary data was collected through interviews with CEOs of these technology intermediaries and their member firms and analysed in combination with secondary data. The technology intermediaries discussed are created to help firms to take advantage of technological developments. The paper demonstrates that the openness of the innovation process forces firms lacking absorptive capacity to search for alternative ways to engage in inbound open innovation. The paper highlights the multiple activities of which absorptive capacity in intermediaries is made up; defines the concept of absorptive capacity as a pre-condition to open innovation; and demonstrates how firms lacking absorptive capacity collectively cope with distributed knowledge and innovation.
The lack of appropriate equipment has been a major barrier to the technological development in many developing countries. There are three basic ways to acquire equipment, lease it, buy it or rent it. An enterprise must decide for itself, in several occasions, in the light of its own circumstances the pattern of finance most suitable for it.However, in recent years, leasing of equipment has become an increasingly important method of equipment acquisition in Nigeria. A study of equipment leasing was done. Also cumulative cash cost comparative analysis of leasing, purchase and rent as methods of equipment acquisition was carried out. It was found that equipment leasing offers the lessee several clear cut benefits, although like the other methods, these may be wholly or partially offset by some disadvantages. Some aspects for consideration in making decisions on either to lease, purchase or rent are suggested.
Academia-industry cooperation began to attract attention during the recent recession. This is because Japanese universities are expected to make contributions to the Japanese economy and society, especially through the creation of new business and yet they are not making a sufficient contribution to match their potential. The Japanese government implemented, “A Program of Economic Structural Reform”, and, “the Science and Technology Basic Law and Basic Plan”, in which academia-industry cooperation is given an important position. In April 1998 the Japanese Diet adopted “the Law of Promoting Technology Transfer from University to Industry.” Through this law, the Japanese government will support academia-industry collaborative R&D and the establishment of Technology Licensing Offices at universities in Japan.
Inter-firm strategic technology collaborations are more and more frequently used as a source of knowledge. American corporations do not just collaborate among themselves, but they have proven to be very attractive partners also for European Corporations. However, technological co-operation among European firms strongly declined in the 1990s, not only in relative terms, but also in absolute terms. We compare these trends with what has happened in academic collaborations measured by scientific co-authored papers. In this domain, Europeans are more and more likely to collaborate among each other, and they are also becoming more attractive for American scientists.Since one of the core objectives of the European Union science and technology policy has been to foster collaboration, we can deduct that this has been a success in the field of academia, but a failure in the business field. A few tentative explanations and policy implications are addressed.
Nanotechnology promises significant improvements of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques, which are critical for the future competitiveness of national industries. This paper is concerned with the sectoral innovation system in nanotechnology in a global perspective with an aim to understand worldwide developments in nanotechnology research from its emerging stage. The research highlights cross-country comparisons, actors and institutions in the innovation system based on quantitative method (bibliometrics and tech mining). The authors present also the varying involvement of academia, public research institutions and commercial companies in relevant research by finding main research contributors, discourse development, as well as clusters or knowledge networks of affiliations and countries. The research findings show that the significant output of commercial companies in Japan and the United States is different from the situation in the European Union, where the relevant scientific activities are dominated by academic and government research institutions. The research reveals the learning patterns of nanotech innovation structure for the science pole. The findings can be particularly useful for forming technology strategies, science and technology policies by revealing strengths and weaknesses of the emerging innovation system in nanotech, existing country-level competencies and differences.
In 1989, Korea initiated a new program aimed at fostering university research potentials and building university-industry research relationships. It involves the establishment of Centers of Excellence in major universities in Korea: Science Research Centers (SRCs) and Engineering Research Centers (SRCs). This program has had a major impact on the universities and engineering communities in Korea. It is too early to claim success, but the initial result is encouraging.This article describes the reasons for establishing the Centers of Excellence and the nature, function and current status of the SRCIERC program. We examine its first three years' performance and evaluation process, and also examine some of problems and issues that arose while SRCs and ERCs were operating for the first three years. Several utopian recommendations are made, based on the results of evaluation for the effective operations that are most likely to succeed.
The inventive capacity of South African universities and researchers is investigated through analysis of university patent applications. Patent applications to the South African Patent office from 1996 to 2006 are used as an indicator of inventive capacity. The investigation determines, for the first time, patenting activities of local universities at the South African Patent Office for the past 10 years and it identifies the performance of faculties and departments. We suggest that patent analysis of local patent offices in developing countries provides a more comprehensive picture of inventive activity than the analyses in the main patent offices in USA and Europe.The assertion that industrial experience affects the inventiveness of academic staff is also investigated. The study finds that most inventors or co-inventors held at least one position in industry, or in some cases, specialized parastatals (non-university institutions) prior to patent application. The study supports the idea that experience and the professional trajectory of scientists through migration from industry to university leads to an increase of researchers’ scientific and technical human capital which is convertible into high performance or inventive capacity. We argue that this linkage is valid equally in developed and developing countries (like South Africa) and that universities internationally wishing to improve their entrepreneurial character should aim to employ academic with industrial prior experience.
The value of management tools is occasionally brought into question. They are sometimes seen as some form of crutch which managers deploy instead of thinking creatively. This paper attempts to clarify the nature of management tools and argues a case for their appropriate use. The paper distinguishes between tools and company procedures or systems and explores some new categorisations. Focusing specifically on technology management tools, the paper looks at where different tools have come from, and provides examples from industry, government and consultancy companies. The role academics can play in their development is explored, with the paper arguing that they are in a rare position to impartially scrutinise and evaluate existing tools as well as contribute to the development of new tools to solve unusual and complex problems.
Interactions between universities, research institutions and private industry are discussed in a growing body of literature on technological collaboration. A new dimension to this topic concerns appropriate management strategies and systems adopted by research providers and users at the interface for the commercialization of research. Network organization has spawned a variety of new organizational forms and management approaches. Despite these developments, collaboration remains dependent upon and shaped by the organizational and management characteristics of partners engaged in cooperative activity.This article examines the cultural and organizational issues involved in extracting a high social rate of returns from academic-industry links. Dynamic forces operating within the industry-research institution interface are analysed in relation to cultural and organizational values. While the benefits of interaction may appear evident at the network level, this is not necessarily the case at individual firm and research institution level, interacting to collaborate often does not occur with equanimity and cannot be grafted upon every phase of the innovation process.
Considerable resources are being devoted to science parks as policy instruments aimed at promoting research-based industrial and innovative activity. The phenomenon, which began in the US and Europe, is now attracting interest throughout the world, including Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa. The concept of linkage between commercial enterprises and academic research is central to the US and UK science park model. Drawing on empirical research completed in the UK, the paper assesses the potential and actual role of science parks in linking academic research with industrial activity. These findings show that current UK experience does not demonstrate high levels of such linkages. Further, analysis of the empirical and theoretical basis for science parks, drawing on current understanding of the innovation process and the relationship between academic research and industrial activity, suggests that the science park model itself is problematic.
Support to enhance early growth of academic spin-off firms is at the core of many economic policies. Efficiency of this support has been recently questioned due to slow growth of spin-off firms in various European countries. However, despite many studies to improve support, there is virtually no empirical insight into resistance of obstacles that constrain growth over time and how this differs between distinct types of spin-offs. This article explores the incidence and nature of obstacles to growth in a cross-section and longitudinal approach, and uses Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) as a case study. We find evidence that (1) the overall ability to overcome obstacles decreases at the age of four, most probably reflecting the rise of the so-called credibility juncture, and that (2) highly innovative spin-offs start with an accumulation of obstacles but move relatively quickly to sustainable growth. The paper concludes with recommendations for the design of new (renewed) incubation policies and for further research.
Despite the cultural differences between university and industry, the mutual benefits from cooperation between these organizations have long been recognized in the advanced countries. Recently, this type of collaboration has been receiving attention in the developing countries. This study therefore evaluates the existing collaboration between Obafemi Awolowo University and some enterprises in its neighbourhood, using questionnaires and interviews.The major ties between the university and the industries were found to be in consultancy activities such as training workshops, short courses and student industrial training. However, little or no research ties or joint ventures were observed; this is probably for reasons such as communication gap, cultural differences and lack of research facilities and infrastructure. Effort should therefore be made by both the government and the university to remove these obstacles. This could be achieved by setting up a hybrid coalition between academia and industry. Other centres and units in the university, created to promote such collaboration, should be encouraged to improve upon their performance.
Following a design science approach, this paper develops a framework of policy design principles for fostering technology entrepreneurship in a region. These principles are grounded in research findings and describe the factors and causal mechanisms that explain the founding and success rates of both corporate and academic spin-offs. We differentiate between principles that serve the creation of spin-offs versus those focusing on their subsequent chances of success. We provide an in-depth empirical application of this framework to spin-off policy in the regions of Eindhoven and Leuven. This application of the framework serves to assess the extent to which standing spin-off policy in both regions is (1) up-to-date, (2) comprehensive as well as (3) sufficiently robust against ‘policy fashions’. Several directions for redesigning spin-off policy follow from this assessment.
The paper identifies ‘knowledge equity’ as the central resource on which the competitive advantage of industry and, increasingly, of countries is based. This new perception of knowledge — embedded in intellectual capital — as a form of equity is at the heart of what we believe to be a new and distinctive paradigm shift. This ‘techno-academic paradigm’ — reflected, for example, in the central role of campus companies in the development of the information technology sector in the United States — identifies the higher education (HE) sector both as a generator of knowledge equity and as an implicit risk-sharing framework within which the full potential of campus companies can be exploited.The paper provides the first systematic evidence of a new technological entrepreneurialism within the HE sector in Ireland, as manifest in the growth of campus companies. In effect, the paper argues that the culture and focus of the HE sector is being reshaped by its new catalytic role in the generation, application and diffusion of knowledge.
Whether entrepreneurship as an academic subject is a liberal art or a professional field can be argued. Either case can be constructed logically, but only the professional case can be tested empirically. This investigation attempts empiricism. After many years of study in the field of entrepreneurship each of the authors undertook a venture. One was a very small venture, book publishing; the other, a fairly large venture, chemical manufacturing. Neither venture, at this point, is a clear success or failure. But in the history of both can be seen better and poorer decisions. To evaluate the utility of scholastic entrepreneurship knowledge on these decisions, a conceptual scheme is imposed which allows exploration of how either the possession or the lack of knowledge, both academic and industrial, helped or hindered venturing performance. Inferences are drawn about further inquiry that would contribute useful academic knowledge to would-be entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is at the heart of sustainable, organic growth for most developed, as well as transitioning and developing economies and incubators have often served as catalysts and even accelerators of entrepreneurial clusters formation and growth.Our premise is that this may be more so in less developed economies where incubators can help bridge knowledge, digital, socio-political and even cultural divides and help increase the availability, awareness, accessibility and affordability of financial, human, intellectual, and even social capital, the key ingredients of entrepreneurial success.Incubation has recently experienced increased attention as a model of start-up facilitation. Venture capitalists see incubators as a means to diversify risky investment portfolios, while would-be entrepreneurs approach incubators for start-up support. Incubators are faced with the challenge and the opportunity of managing both investment risks, as well as entrepreneurial risks. As an indication of their usefulness, more than a thousand incubators have been established in the last few years based on a number of different incubation business models (not-for-profit, for-profit, public/private entity, etc.), which we categorize in five incubator archetypes: the university incubator, the independent commercial incubator, the regional business incubator, the company-internal incubator, and the virtual incubator.In this paper, we propose an overarching incubator model that synthesizes elements and best practices emanating from the five archetypes empirically identified and also incorporates substantially higher economies of scale and scope, as well as global and local (gloCal) knowledge arbitrage potential. This paper presents an architectural blueprint for designing a gloCal, real and virtual network of incubators (G-RVIN) as a knowledge and innovation infra-structure and infra-technology which would link entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs with local, regional, and global networks of customers, suppliers and complementors and thus help not only bridge, but also leverage, the diverse divides (digital, knowledge, cultural, socio-political, etc.).The implications of this archetype of new ventures incubation for facilitating both venture business activity and broad-based economic development are discussed and early findings from pilot projects in central and eastern Europe are discussed.
A study of consumer acceptance of the Internet as a channel of distribution in Taiwan was conducted using a channel function perspective. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was adopted as the theoretical basis on which to develop the research framework. The relevant research hypotheses were examined in three online channel function environments (i.e., information collection, financial payments, and product variety/assortment). Most of the hypotheses were supported by the empirical findings. The implications of these findings are highlighted, and suggestions for future research are noted as well.
This paper proposed a model for security technology adoption and implementation through the examination of factors affecting adoption and implementation of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology. In the early 1990s, PKI was widely believed to be the panacea for solving a number of security issues that would open the door for business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce. However, history has demonstrated a lack of broad-based adoption of PKI by organizations, although the use of digital certificates has become fairly prevalent. Why has implementation of the PKI technology been so narrow? What are the factors that mediate security technology adoption and implementation? Technology use, diffusion and adoption literature provide a conceptual framework and theoretical motivation for examining the case of PKI. Additional insight is provided by the examination of the experience of a few organizations that have, to some degree, implemented PKI technology, supplemented by a review of published information on other organizational PKI experiences. The combination of theoretical and practical considerations yield a security implementation model that we believe sheds light on the factors affecting PKI implementation and shows promise for examination of security technology adoption in general. We believe that the model and the research that supports it has important implications for both academics and practitioners in gaining a better understanding of the process for adoption of security technologies by public and private organizations.
A survey of business subscribers to the Internet was conducted in Bahrain, a small island nation in the Persian Gulf. The purpose of the study was to investigate the patterns and problems associated with Internet use for business. The leading industries using the Internet in Bahrain were banking, finance and business services. Over 80% of the subscribers had Internet access for six months or less. The chief applications of the Internet were for electronic mail, financial news, market research, and information gathering. The business subscribers perceived the Internet as a cost-effective medium, but only a third of the subscribers had increased their companies' customers and/or profits. The major problems reported by the business susbcribers included the amount of time consumed in gaining access to the Internet and the lack of protocols to support secure electronic ordering and payments. The shortage of Arabic language sites was not considered a problem by over three-quarters of the business subscribers.
This study deals with management accounting practices in small and medium sized service firms in Finland. The recent trends of Management Accounting Systems (MAS), such as Activity Based Costing (ABC), are not frequently used in Finnish service organizations, although these practices have been realized by the majority of respondents to be an important tool to understand real product costs, decrease production costs, modernize cost accounting systems and identify activity costs. An empirical study indicates that a few Finnish small and medium sized service organizations have implemented recent developments of MAS such as ABC. The practices of MAS do not vary with differences in type of service firms that were included in this study. This paper demonstrates that MAS are not very successful in the Finnish service organizations investigated to achieve the goal of decision making, planning and management control, and to improve the information system within the organizations.
The focus of this paper is how the key features of the underlying learning processes influence inter-firm differences in paths of technological capability-accumulation in the late-industrialising context. This relationship is examined in two of the largest steel firms in Brazil over their lifetime of 40 and 60 years. The issues of ‘technological capability’ and ‘learning processes’ have been addressed in two bodies of literature over the past two decades: the Latecomer Company Literature (LCL) and the Technological Frontier Company Literature (TFCL). However, the problem of how learning processes influence inter-firm differences in technological capability accumulation paths, particularly within the late-industrialising companies, has been quite scarce in both bodies of literature. The framework for learning identifies four processes: external and internal knowledge-acquisition, knowledge-socialisation and knowledge-codification. These processes are examined on the basis of four features: variety, intensity, functioning, and interaction. The study has found that the paths of technological capability accumulation followed by the two case-study companies were diverse and have proceeded at differing rates over time across different technological functions. These differences were strongly associated with the four features of the learning processes. The study suggests that the rates of technological capability accumulation can be accelerated if deliberate and effective efforts on knowledge-acquisition and knowledge-conversion processes are made within the company
This paper is concerned with the ability of organizations to innovate and successfully achieve technological and organizational change. It recognizes the complexity of the issues that contribute to the management of such change and the role of the learning organization. Through the use of organizational and technological literature it presents the development of a conceptual model for understanding the processes of knowledge transfer. The use of the model is demonstrated within a case study which explores the successful introduction of technology change into a division of a major bank. The study investigates in detail, through the reflections of individuals within the company, the activities and behaviours that have led to the successful introduction of technology change. The paper includes some of the findings and analysis of the study. The use of the model as a tool for understanding organizational processes is evaluated.
Technology assets play a crucial role in enabling the competitiveness of companies in most industries. Several authors have proposed models that illustrate the role of these assets during different phases of a company's development. In this paper, we develop a model that shows the important role of technology, human expertise, organizational structure, and information assets in positioning a company for global competition. This model integrates earlier work by Christensen and Overdorf [2000. Meeting the challenge of disruptive change. Harvard Business Review], Leonard-Barton [1992. Core capabilities and core rigidities: A Paradox in new product development. Strategic Management Journal, 13, 111–126], Sharif [1995. The Evolution of technology management studies: Technoeconomics to technometrics. Technology management: Strategies and applications for practitioners, 2(3), 113–148], and Subramaniam, Youndt, [2005. The Influence of intellectual capital on the types of innovative capabilities. Academy of Management Journal, 48(3), 450–463] to show the similarities that hide behind the unique terminology presented in these earlier works.In this paper, we attempt to clearly identify the types of technology assets that a company must acquire and apply in order to be successful in the marketplace. Numerous authors have talked about the importance of managing technologies and “weaving streams of technology” without explicitly defining these technologies. We suggest that managers must consider much more than just traditional R&D and the acquisition of new equipment that represent “hard technology”. Rather, a manager must leverage the power of humanware, technoware, inforware, and orgaware. Further, we suggest that each of these plays a dominant role during a different phase of a company's lifecycle. As an asset moves from a dominant position to a supporting position, it moves from a differentiating competency, to an operational capability.
This study proposes a novel virtual collaborative framework to assist in analyzing and designing logistical processes for inter-firm merger/acquisitions in the IC foundry industry. To elucidate the different but correlated issues when developing the framework, enterprise ontology theory is adopted to deal with knowledge-sharing problems involving merger/acquisition partners. Additionally, several analytical methods, including collaborative production lifecycle chain diagram, process chain diagram and unified modeling language (UML), are utilized for analyzing issues at different levels to design a virtual prototype for mergers/acquisitions.
This paper empirically investigates a sample of German domestic merger and acquisitions (M&As) in the 1990s to analyze the importance of a related technology portfolio in the decision to acquire a particular firm. The novelty of this analysis lies in the fact that the sample does not contain exclusively large firms, but also a large share of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The empirical results suggest that firms engage in M&As to strengthen their technological competencies. A related technology portfolio is, in particular, important for the decision to acquire SMEs. This suggests an information advantage of acquirers with related technologies.
In today's globalized economy, enterprises are facing ever increasing competitive pressures. A commonly adopted strategy for gaining new technologies and remaining competitive is to acquire needed technology from external sources. The goal of this paper is to identify influential factors and their impact using a multi-factorial analysis of the choice of technology acquisition mode. The effect of various factors on these modes was studied by examining a sampling of the electronic industries of Japan, Korea and Taiwan. A patent analysis combined with Logit Regression is made and tested using data of these electronic firms. The results indicate that among the factors analyzed in this study, the technological capability (including technological level, technological innovation and research and development (R&D) activities) of a firm is the most significant factor in influencing the determination of the mode of technology acquisition. Finally, we discuss the significance of results based on resource theory and present our conclusions and their implications. By highlighting the important links between a firm's technological capability, size, previous experience and relevance of its core technology to the mode of technology acquisition in these technology-based firms, we hope to cast light on the contribution of various influential factors on the decision making of these modes for firms in these countries.
This paper summarizes an empirical study of NTBF creation and early evolution in Portugal. It focuses on the implications of being created and operating in a country with a weak national system of innovation for the process of acquisition of technological knowledge and technology necessary for formation and subsequent development of the firm.It is agreed that start-up conditions concerning the acquisition of the initial technology and the relationships then established have important implications for the subsequent process of technology acquisition, and a number of patterns of behaviour are identified. The main options for the launch of an NTBF are analysed. One stereotype is firms which have a privileged link with a particular source of technology which they use in a more or less ‘symbiotic’ way. A second stereotype is the firm which has a more independent stance — by choice or out of necessity — but is able to build alternative forms of technology acquisition.The privileged relationship appeared to have a number of advantages, although it is a relatively recent experience whose implications are not yet completely clear. The experience of firms which did not have the privileged relationship shows that technology access is often a complex undertaking for NTBFs in less well-endowed environments. The strategies followed by firms to guarantee the acquisition of relevant technological knowledge are thus adaptive responses, devised to cope with the limitations of their environment.
With a view to achieving techno-economic development, India has adopted a two-pronged approach: one relates to creating a climate for the indigenous development of technology in the country, and the other deals with the transfer and adaptation of technology from advanced countries. The author describes the support policy and indicates various strategies adopted by India for the development of the technology base in the country, as well as a number of foreign collaborations, involving technology transfer, entered into for enhancement and with a view to achieving technical competence in various sectors.Further, in view of GATT and new economic liberalization programmes, a drastic change is seen not only in the commercialization of indigenous R&D efforts but also in the import of technology. Indian industry, instead of merely importing the technology, is now preferring to import the technological products, so as not only to obtain the tried and tested technology with a demand-market but also to avoid payment of royalty, which is necessary to contribute towards the Government's newly created technology development fund.