Organizational Issues in the Introduction of New Technologies

Powerful Essays
Organizational Issues in the
Introduction of New Technologies

Ralph Katz and Thomas J. Allen

June 1984

1582-84

Organizational Issues in the Introduction of New Technologies

by
Professor(s) Ralph Katz and Thomas J. Allen

More than ever before, organizations competing in today 's world of high technology are faced with the challenges of "dualism", that is, functioning efficiently today while planning and innovating effectively for tomorrow.

Not only must these organizations be

concerned with the success and market penetration of their current product mix, but they must also be concerned with their long run capability to develop and incorporate in a timely manner the most appropriate technical advancements into future product offerings. Research and development-based corporations, no matter how they are organized, must find ways to internalize both sets of concerns. Now it would be nice if everyone in an organization agreed on how to carry out this dualism or even agreed on its relative merits.

This

is rarely the case, however, even though such decisions are critically important to a firm competing in markets strongly affected by changing technology (Allen, 1977; Roberts, 1974).

Amidst the pressures of

everyday requirements, decision-makers representing different parts of the organization usually disagree on the relative wisdom of allocating resources or particular RD&E talents among the span of technical activities that might be of benefit to today 's versus

III

-2-

tomorrow 's organization.

Moreover, there are essentially no

well-defined principles within management theory on how to structure organizations to accommodate these two sets of conflicting challenges.

Classical management theory with its focus on scientific

principles deals only with the efficient production and utilization of today 's goods and services.

The principles of high task

specialization, unity of command and direction, high



References: Allen, T.J. and Marquis, D.G. "Positive and negative biasing sets: effect of prior experience on research performance." IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 1963, 11, 158-162. "Time and work: Toward an integrative perspective." Research in Organizational Behavior, 1980, 2, JAI Press, 81-127. "The effects of group longevity on project communication and performance." Administrative Science Quarterly, 1982, 27, 81-104. and Allen, T.J. "Investigating the not invented here (NIH) syndrome." R&D Management, 1982, 12, 7-19. Wiley, 1966. Roberts, E.B. "Stimulating technological innovation: Organizational approaches." Research Management, 1979, 22, 26-30. Roberts, E.B. "New ventures for corporate growth." Review, 1980, July-August, 134-142. Schon, D.D. "Champions for radical new inventions." Review, 1963, March-April, pp Souder, W.E. "Effectiveness of product development methods." Marketing Management, 1978, 7, 299-307.

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