A technology assessment primer for management of technology Anne De Piante Henriksen Technology and Safety Assessment Division, MS F609, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos NM, 87545 Visiting Assistant Professor, R.O. Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 871311221 Abstract: Technology assessment (TA) is an important component of effective management of technology. It is therefore important for technology managers to have a range of technology assessment techniques in order to obtain meaningful information for making decisions and maintaining a viable position in the globally competitive marketplace. The purpose of this article is to compile and present a comprehensive toolkit of TA techniques that can lead to improved and more effective management of enterprise product, process, and supporting technologies. The numerous methods and techniques of TA are organized in this paper into nine different categories: economic analysis, decision analysis, systems engineering/analysis, technological forecasting, information monitoring, technical performance assessment, risk assessment, market analysis, and externalities/impact analysis. Specific assessment techniques in each of the nine categories are presented and discussed, and applications from the literature are provided. The role of the manager of technology in the TA process is emphasized. Keywords: Technology assessment; management of technology; technology analysis; competitiveness. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Henriksen, A.D. (1997) ‘A technology assessment primer for management of technology’, Int. J. Technology Management, Vol. 13, Nos. 5/6, pp.615—638. Biographical notes: Anne Dc Piante Henriksen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a PhD in chemical physics from the University of Virginia, and an MBA in operations/management science summa cum laude from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Henriksen is a technical staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Technology and Safety Assessment Division, but is presently on sabbatical at the University of New Mexico, R.O. Anderson Graduate School of Management teaching courses in management of technology. She recently led a project at Los Alamos involving integrated atoms -to-enterprise modelling, simulation, and control of a steel manufacturing enterprise. Her research interests include technology assessment; enterprise modelling; object-oriented analysis, modelling, and simulation; decision analysis; environmental remediation technology; and management of technology. She is on the editorial advisory board of the journal Remediation and is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), the INFORMS College on Simulation, the INFORMS Society for Technology Management, the Society for Computer Simulation, the International Association for Management of Technology (IAMOT), the Decision Sciences Institute, and the American Chemical Society. Copyright © 1997 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
A.D. Henriksen Introduction
An enterprise can compete more effectively in the globally competitive marketplace when it assesses the competitive position of its product, process, and supporting technologies regularly throughout their lifecycle. The purpose of such technology assessment (TA) is to evaluate the aggregate technological capability of the enterprise and to facilitate corporate strategic technology planning. Technology assessment is especially important for those firms whose product is technology because superior technology-related decisions can propel an unknown to wealth and fame in a very short period of time, while poor technology-related decisions can render a firm extinct. It does not matter whether an enterprise classifies itself as ‘high tec’ for TA to be...