01 Dec 1996
by E. Raymond Corey
(Harvard Business School Press)
As corporate research and development costs rise, many firms choose to participate in R&D; consortia - collaborative ventures with academic institutions and government agencies - that help to fill their own needs in noncompetitive technology development while contributing to national economic growth and global competitiveness. In Technology Fountainheads: The Management Challenge of R&D; Consortia, Professor Emeritus Ray Corey examines the experiences of six of the largest and most visible R&D; consortia in the United States in order to identify key factors for successful collaboration.
Three of the consortia in Corey's study - Texas-based SEMATECH and Microelectron-ics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) and Semiconductor Research Cor-poration (SRC) of North Carolina - serve the semiconductor and computer industries, in which interfirm and international rivalries are intense. The other three consortia - Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Gas Research Institute (GRI), and Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) - draw their membership from regulated industries in which competition between firms has intensified more recently. Tech-nology Fountainheads sheds light on the differences among the two groups - especially in terms of early development, missions, structures, and the distinct ways in which they operate - and considers the dynamics of successful versus unsuccessful consortium management.
The Development Factory
by Gary P. Pisano
(Harvard Business School Press)
Product development has long been a source of advantage for firms. In The Development Factory: Unlocking the Potential of Process Innovation, Associate Professor Gary Pisano suggests that process innovation can also be a competitive factor. In a three-year study of pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, Pisano shows that the development of distinctive and superior process technologies can lower costs, improve quality, and increase flexibility. He explores the dynamics of superior product and process development in the highly competitive pharmaceutical industry, challenging the widely held view that firms tend to emphasize either product or process innovation, depending upon their stage of development. Rather, Pisano argues, product and process development capabilities are complementary.
"My goal has been to present this material in a way that not only proves stimulating and convincing to scholars interested in innovation, the management of knowledge, and organizational learning," Pisano writes, "but that is also accessible to practitioners interested in unlocking the potential of process development in their organizations." restructuring -- innovations intended to make companies more competitive -- routinely fall short, says HBS professor John Kotter, because they fail to alter behavior. In his new book, Leading Change, Kotter, one of the world's foremost experts on leadership, examines the efforts of more than one hundred companies as they attempt to make themselves stronger competitors. He identifies the most common mistakes of leaders and managers as they try to create change and offers an eight-step process to help firms achieve the lasting organizational transformations essential for success in the coming decades.
HBS Research Available on World Wide Web
Pondering a business problem or management issue? Imagine with a computer keystroke or two being able to find synopses of Harvard Business School research on hundreds of topics.
Would you like to know more, for example, about the investment and financing decisions that are made during the development of entrepreneurial ventures? How about success factors for women managers, or the psychological factors that influence risk-taking? Interested in updating yourself about information technology in the organization, the changing nature of the work force, or new and provocative insights into the history of American business?
These are among the many topics currently being explored by HBS faculty and research assistants. Each year, more than 40 percent of the faculty's time and 30 percent of the School's total budget are devoted to faculty research and course development. A typical year at HBS will produce hundreds of new cases and dozens of books, as well as numerous articles and working papers. This activity covers an enormous variety of business and organizational issues; taken as a whole, it constitutes an unmatched resource for the study and improvement of current management practice.
To see for yourself, access the HBS Division of Research Homepage to find listings of research conducted at HBS over the last five years, arranged according to individual professor and by subject matter.