Technology integration: Managing technological evolution in a complex environment

Technology integration: Managing technological evolution in a complex environment We report on an empirical investigation of product development in an environment characterized by discontinuous technological change. Our sample is composed of field-based observations on 27 projects and 61 technical problem solving attempts by all leading organizations developing high performance mainframe computers. Different organizations attained very different levels of R & D performance, as indicated by development lead time, R & D productivity and technical product improvement. We show that the differences in performance are correlated with skills and routines aimed at technology integration. High project performance is linked to a broad approach to resolving critical problems, merging deep technical knowledge with a detailed understanding of the specific environment in which the new technologies would be applied. Effective organizations are characterized by a ‘system focused’ approach. The approach involves an emphasis on project specification and concept development, a number of specific routines that probe the systemic impact of technical options on the existing capabilities of the organization, as well as the retention of individuals with direct experience of related product introduction efforts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Research Policy Elsevier

Technology integration: Managing technological evolution in a complex environment

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Abstract

We report on an empirical investigation of product development in an environment characterized by discontinuous technological change. Our sample is composed of field-based observations on 27 projects and 61 technical problem solving attempts by all leading organizations developing high performance mainframe computers. Different organizations attained very different levels of R & D performance, as indicated by development lead time, R & D productivity and technical product improvement. We show that the differences in performance are correlated with skills and routines aimed at technology integration. High project performance is linked to a broad approach to resolving critical problems, merging deep technical knowledge with a detailed understanding of the specific environment in which the new technologies would be applied. Effective organizations are characterized by a ‘system focused’ approach. The approach involves an emphasis on project specification and concept development, a number of specific routines that probe the systemic impact of technical options on the existing capabilities of the organization, as well as the retention of individuals with direct experience of related product introduction efforts.

Journal

Research PolicyElsevier

Published: Jul 1, 1995

References

  • Product development performance
    Clark, K.B.; Fujimoto, T.
  • Science-based product development: An empirical study of the mainframe computer industry
    Iansiti, M.
  • Technology transfer: Some British data
    Langrish, J.
  • Organization and environment
    Lawrence, P.R.; Lorsch, J.W.
  • The effects of cognitive problem-solving orientation and technological familiarity on faster new product development
    McDonough, E.F.; Barczak, G.

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