The Management of Innovation and Technology: The Shaping of Technology and Institutions of the Market Economy

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John Howells

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    List of Figures and Tables

    • 1.1 A range of definitions of ‘technology’ 2
    • 1.2 The technology complex 3
    • 1.3 EFTPOS technology as an example of the technology complex 5
    • 1.4 Twiss' ‘Egg’ model of innovation 12
    • 1.5 The Schmidt-Tiedemann concomitance model of innovation 13
    • 1.6 The square at the top of the Doric column is the skeuomorph 17
    • 1.7 The roughly triangular area created when a viaduct is supported by arches is the spandrel 19
    • 1.8 Diagram of the construction of the Hagia Sophia 19
    • Table 4.1 Solvay versus Leblanc production of sodium carbonate in Britain 90
    • Table 4.2 The 10 leading US transistor-based device manufacturers during successive waves of technological change 100
    • Table 7.1 New model car design compared in USA, Japan and Europe 185

    Acknowledgements

    I would particularly like to thank James Fleck, Stephen Hill, Julia Engelhardt and Kristina Cornish for comments on all or part of the manuscript. As usual, I remain responsible for any remaining errors.

    A previous version of the section in Chapter 1 on the technology complex was published with James Fleck under the title ‘Technology, the Technology Complex and the Paradox of Technological Determinism’ in the journal Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 13: 523–31. A previous version of the section on the sailing ship effect in Chapter 4 was published under the title ‘The Response of Old Technology Incumbents to Technological Competition – Does the Sailing Ship Effect Exist?’ in the Journal of Management Studies, 39, 7: 887–907.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this book.

    Figure 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 reproduced with permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd, http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals.

    Figure 1.5 from Schmidt-Tiedemann's ‘A new model of the innovation process’, Research Technology Management, 25(2) (1982): 18–22; reprinted with permission.

    Preface

    In this book the ‘management of technological innovation’ is about the decisions and processes that generate, develop and shape technology.

    It is argued at the beginning that a very broad definition of technology is appropriate for the study of innovation and this becomes a basis for organising the book. Thus there is a rough progression of topics from ‘acts’ of invention, to management choices within the R&D department, to patterns of long-term technological development and then the nature of technological competition between firms. There follows three chapters on the role of intellectual property, finance and technical knowledge. These cover the private firm's use and abuse of these institutions in technology development, but they also extend the idea of ‘management of innovation’ to cover the decision events that shape the form of such important institutions. The last chapter introduces some of the roles of the state in technology development.

    The overall object of the book is to convey an understanding of technology as immediately shaped by the firm, but situated in ‘society’ – and situated in the particular form of society that is the market economy, understood as the working set of institutions and governance procedures that have evolved to sometimes limit and sometimes enable technology-shaping decisions by management and entrepreneurs.

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