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CHAPTER 5
TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT, OPERATIONAL SYSTEMS STRATEGY, AND BUSINESS COMPETITIVENESS INTERFACES

CHAPTER SUMMARY

This chapter focuses on a firm’s strategic management processes, which cut across 3 areas. ➢ Technology management
➢ Operational systems strategy
➢ Business competitiveness interface

Four stages of development in strategic management process performance (Adler et al. 1992).

Stage 1. Isolated – The technical function has few links to the rest of business and makes a minimal contribution. Stage 2. Reactive – The classic “firefighting” function responds to the problems but lacks of its own long-term strategy. Stage 3. Proactive – The technical function has a long-term strategy and a lot of new ideas, which are not quite aligned with the rest of business. Stage 4. Integrated – The technical function not only supports current business priorities but also create new opportunities. This function is also part of strategic business planning.

The following elements define functional characteristics at each stage of technical function development. ➢ Mission
➢ Objective
➢ Strategic plan
➢ Processes (e.g., recruitment, development, rewards, etc.) ➢ Resources (e.g., intellectual property, funding, facilities, etc.) ➢ Linkages (e.g., structure and linkages to other organizations) ➢ Opportunities/threats

➢ Strengths/weaknesses

The above 4-stage development and 8 characteristics serve as a framework for analyzing the performance of a technical function and identifying areas for improvement.

Pros and Cons of the Framework

Pros:
✓ Provides useful insights into policy area (e.g., personnel recruitment and development) ✓ Identifies generic characteristics associated with superior performance ✓ Identifies areas for improvement

Cons:
✓ Doesn’t identify attributes specific to firm contexts (e.g., reward systems, project selection, project management, quality assurance,...
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