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The Handbook of Technology and Innovation Management by Scott Shane

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Chapter 8. Managing the Innovative Performance of Technical Professionals

Ralph Katz

In 1987, a distinguished task force was sponsored by the US National Research Council to study and report on how US companies could regain their international competitiveness through the ways in which they organized, managed, and coordinated their business strategies and technological efforts (NRC, 1987). Given the record trade deficits, the poor productivity growth, and the alarming loss of technical leadership in an increasing number of high technology industries – trends that were all occurring at that time – the task force was asked to uncover those key problem areas in the management of technology that could be improved to help mitigate, and it was hoped, turn around this growing decline in global leadership. Seven major technology-related needs or issues facing US industries were identified by the task force as becoming increasingly important to the future competitiveness of American businesses. Improvements in the following areas were targeted:

  • How to integrate technology into the firm's overall strategic objectives, including the allocation of resources and the planning for technical developments and acquisitions.

  • How to get into and out of technologies faster and more efficiently, including the selection, prioritization, timing, and assessment of alternative technological investments.

  • How to assess and evaluate technology more effectively, especially with respect to financial concerns and ...

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