The technology base of a company is the set of technological competencies or capabilities (knowledge and skills) that the company controls, which can be augmented, developed and exploited in various ways. This management process is substantially different from the routine of established activities. The costs of transfer of knowledge and competence can be very high, and the time-scales can be long. Hence, there is a crucial need to evaluate and select appropriate technologies in which to invest. This is an area fraught with uncertainties, involving predictions and judgements about future exploitation potentials. This paper describes a practical approach to this process based upon the use of a group of experienced and knowledgeable personnel especially brought together for the purpose of technology assessment. A case study is described based on an application of the approach in the chemical industry. In this case, a long list of 'business options' was generated in relation to a set of 'business drivers', each recognized as important by an assembled group of executives. The on-line group process support system, known as TEAMWORKER, was used by the group of executives at a three-day meeting in order to identify the most important subset of business options and associated technologies for more concentrated attention by the company. A feature of the meeting was the ability to identify and discuss differences of opinion within and between sub- groups of executives representing R&D and commercial interests.
- MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS
- Policy and Organisational Management
- Technology Management