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Project Selection Models or Professional Autonomy?
Scholarship on managing professionals has emphasized the centrality of autonomy to industrial scientists in selecting research projects, but has proposed alternative selection models. This article describes the project selection processes in centralized corporate laboratories of high-technology industries, as reported by scientists and managers. It finds that project selection models are rarely utilized in industry because different projects have different levels of uncertainties and benefits. Scientists enjoy autonomy in selecting projects and deciding how to carry them out in industrial contexts. Research projects in corporate laboratories are supported when several elements—research choices made by scientists, demands conveyed by R&D and business managers, and constraints generated by funding, time, and resources—are aligned at a specific point in time. The process appears to be one of resource allocation rather than of project selection.
A Comparative Macro-level Assessment of New Zealand’s ‘National Innovation System’
Hans-Jürgen Engelbrecht & Jenny Darrogh
It has been argued that the power of the concept of a ‘National Innovation System’ (NIS) lies in its comparative nature. Adopting this viewpoint, we provide a comparative snapshot of New Zealand’s NIS. Using macro-level indicators to measure innovation, knowledge absorption and diffusion, we compare the performance of New Zealand with that of other OECD economies. The data indicate that New Zealand continues to have a weak NIS, despite major changes to its research, science and technology sector since the late 1980s, and despite its openness to foreign direct investment. We conclude with some general policy considerations to remedy what, by international comparison, still seems to be a NIS failure in New Zealand. The paper also suggests directions for further research.
Collaboration and Innovation Networks in Esprit
Dimitris Assimakopoulos & Stuart Macdonald
The Esprit Programme is the oldest and largest of the European Commission’s research and development programmes. Collaboration among participants is fundamental to all the projects that it supports. This collaboration is justified in terms of benefits for innovation, yet the very formal collaboration of Esprit is far removed from both the network links which are now seen to join organisations, and the informal information channels of individuals, vital in the supply of information required for innovation. This paper considers what their relationship with formal collaboration might be.
Exploring the Social Construction of IT Policy—Thailand and Singapore
This paper explores the nature of two IT policies, one in Singapore and one in Thailand. The analysis employed suggests that IT policies are socially constructed and thus reflect discourse and ideologies that are pervasive in society. As such then a comparison of the two policies should reflect a difference. This paper argues that the differences between the Singaporean and Thai national IT policies reflect differences in the discourses that frame the social construction of the policy in each case. This paper argues that one fundamental difference between the IT policies implemented in Thailand and Singapore is that the Thai policy is introspective reflecting a deferent society, whilst Singapore’s is outward looking and pointedly global, reflecting a society markedly more extrovert. In analysing the text of the two policies it is argued that IT policy reflects a discourse framed by the state, which in turn represents the dominant discourse in society.
A National Linkage Program for Technological Innovation
A new perspective and conceptual framework of institutional linkages is explored and an institutional linkage model is developed. The model incorporates the linkage patterns and characterises major policy issues affecting technological innovation and technology transfer among the participating organisations. The development of the linkage model will draw on the insights provided by the literature on innovation. Particularly, it is argued that the nature and role of the linkage in technology development is a reflection of a generalised version of an interactive and systemic model of innovation which would suggest policy implications for promoting linkages and interactions within National Systems of Innovation.