ارزیابی فن آوری های غیرمحوری: مقایسه دیدگاه های خارجی و داخلی در نتایج تحقیقات شرکت های بزرگ
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|19407||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of High Technology Management Research, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2010, Pages 79–86
Nowadays, many research organizations extract information from research findings that are, as such, not feasible or valuable for their own use. It is crucial for any organization conducting extensive research activities to have effective and efficient methods so that they receive maximum economic benefit from research outcomes. Two separate mail surveys were implemented to find appropriate measures for evaluating research outcomes from both internal and external perspectives. The results of this exploratory study show a wide gap between the internal and external respondents, when considering meaningful and appropriate measures for judging the commercial potential of non-core technologies. Based on the identified gaps between internal and external views, the study suggests several propositions to guide further theoretical work. Further research is needed to validate the observed differences between the internal and external perspectives on utilising non-core technologies. Moreover, the underlying reasons for these differences would provide a fruitful opportunity for future research.
One of the most vital tasks for a research organization is carrying out on-going exploration of new ideas and technologies. This exploration inevitably produces – by its nature – many findings, which are, as such, not feasible for further development within that organization. Tao, Daniele, Hummel, Goldheim, and Slowinski (2005) argue that even sophisticated companies utilise less than 30% of their patents and the rest sit on the shelf. In addition, important and vital innovations are neglected and remain un-commercialized as a research surplus in many companies, threatening their long-term survival and existence (Christensen, 1997 and Lehrer et al., 2009). Extracting value from research surplus is challenging, since non-core activities compete with core activities for scarce resources, and often, technology licensing meets intra-company resistance (Goldheim et al., 2005 and Galbraith et al., 2007). However, continuous competitive pressure has compelled many research organizations to find new ways to gain more revenue and to create new businesses from research surpluses (Blau and Harris, 1992, Chesbrough, 2004 and Chesbrough et al., 2006). Instead of acting as ‘shelf-warmers’ that collect dust on the shelves of the R&D unit, they could be exploited and commercialized by other organizations if the proper instruments existed (Grimpe, 2006). Technologies that do not fit in the parent company's core businesses could be licensed out, sold, brought to the market via spin-off or start up or even donated (Chesbrough, 2003b and Narayanan et al., 2009). The utilisation of research surplus is important in managing the commercialization of research findings and results, especially from the open innovation point of view. Three drivers may exist behind this development. Firstly, a firm may attempt to cover sunk costs incurred by the development phase that did not lead, for any reason, to further actions. Sometimes, sunk costs may rise to a remarkable level (Keil, 1995). Selling a technology that does not fit into the firm's current strategy, business model or product/research portfolio may produce income that, at least partly, covers developmental costs. Secondly, although sunk costs presumably also exist, the main driver is the creation of a new revenue source (Kuczmarski, 2000). Alongside the firm's core business, many firms are striving for other revenue sources that could generate a significant source of income. Unlike the previous driver, in this case, the firm typically does not totally detach itself, but sells the licence to another company to perhaps generate a small, but constant flow of income. Instead of licensing, another possible strategy could be some kind of revenue sharing (van der Heijden, Potters & Sefton, 2009). Moreover, it may be possible to create another revenue stream alongside the initial royalty payments, for instance, by offering consultancy to companies that have already licensed innovations (Chesbrough, 2003a). Thirdly, a firm may use external interest to gain internally legitimised status for new ideas or innovations. In some cases, innovations may encounter internal inertia and to displace this inertia, external power is used to also induce internal interest. Hence, the third driver is tightly involved with strategic issues. Identification of commercially appealing ideas is seldom straightforward. Although the parts of a business idea construct the basis for the evaluation of commercial potential of an incomplete non-core technology, i.e., the research surplus (see e.g., Normann, 1977), a more comprehensive approach is needed. Furthermore, the evaluation process needs to be carefully designed in order to find the appropriate personnel to implement it at each stage (Galbraith et al., 2007). This leads us to the question: how is the commercialization potential of non-core technologies evaluated? Two different parties are involved with the evaluation and commercialization of non-core technologies: the one that discovers the technology (internal perspective) and the one that can make use of the technology (external perspective). Therefore, in corporate research, we are also interested in this question: what differences exist between internal and external perspectives when evaluating commercial potential? These research questions are tackled with an exploratory survey of two groups: the internal and external agents of a company.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The study examines the question of perceptions of internal and external research organizations' evaluators assessing the commercialisation potential of non-core technologies. Specifically, the study concentrates on what differences exist between the internal and external perspectives when evaluating commercial potential. The results were depicted as thematic contrasts between the internal and the external perspectives on research surplus. This created a valid thematic research setting and produced illuminating results but, indeed, lacks statistical significance as a whole. Hence, we presented the results of both surveys as exploratory. A similar study could be carried out by any organization aspiring to increase the level of utilisation of its research findings. Therefore, even though the research was exploratory in nature, it provides a guide for practical and further research efforts in studying possible barriers to the exploitation of research surplus in an open innovation fashion. The core of the results is the wide gap between the internal and external respondents when considering meaningful and appropriate measures for judging the commercial potential of non-core technologies. This may be one of the reasons why large corporations and universities' shelves are used for storing new technological innovations, rather than exploiting the created potential. The created technologies are judged against varying internally oriented criteria and therefore, development work is mainly directed towards targets that are not valued on the actual commercialization side of the utilization process. Based on the exploratory results presented previously we may propose in a general level that a) including external views on measuring the potential of research outcome increases the likelihood of its successful commercialisation b) when the evaluation systems for non-core technologies have a step-wise process (Fig. 3), it increases the likelihood of success in commercialization Full-size image (38 K) Fig. 3. Proposition for the first phase of the evaluation process. Figure options c) identifying internal and external views on the commercial potential of research surplus early on in the development work is crucial in solving possible differences in internal and external views. In addition to these general propositions, to guide future theoretical work, we may derive from our results propositions that are more detailed. We establish these propositions on the largest differences between internal and external evaluations of metrics. 1. Considering economic value added as a part of the project work increases the likelihood of commercialisation of the research outcome. 2. Considering the unit cost of the product as a part of the project work leads to a mutual understanding between internal and external parties on the commercial potential of the research outcome. 3. Considering sales to break-even as a part of the project work directs project team's focus on considering also customer side and leads to increasing likelihood of commercialisation of the research outcomes. 4. Higher number of dedicated personnel increases likelihood of commercialisation and its successfulness. 5. The higher the maturity of the research outcome, the higher the likelihood of commercialisation. Derived from discrepancies between external and internal views, we may suggest the following propositions directly from the results of this study. 6. When research project's workers have satisfying working conditions, the higher innovativeness measured by research outcomes will emerge. 7. Measurement systems capable to measure both hardware and software solutions (products) will lead to higher performance of research team. 8. Using the measures focusing on communication, mutual understanding and shared vision within the research team will decrease the likelihood of conflicts affecting negatively to the performance of research team. Based on the findings concerning measures for the RSP, we propose the following phasing for evaluating non-core technologies, considering both the measures and the evaluators (Fig. 3). In order to gain a comprehensive evaluation of non-core technologies, we propose that both internal and external perspectives be combined in a research organization's evaluations. The proposed phasing of evaluation was created to constitute a comprehensive set of measures needed to evaluate the overall commercial potential of non-core technologies before they are included in the research surplus portfolio. As a practical implication, our proposed framework is an addition to any research organization's toolbox for analysing, evaluating and managing their project portfolios. In detail, the above-proposed framework includes measures combining the necessary measures from both external and internal views. In addition, external evaluators are added to the process of considering the RSP. Since internal evaluators have limited view on the end customers or the final use environment, the process should also include external experts, such as representatives from facilitator companies or consultants acting as mediators between producers and end customers. As was shown above, internal evaluators are inclined to consider potential in different terms than the external parties utilising non-core technologies. This study should be considered as exploratory in nature. Therefore, further research is needed to statistically validate the possible differences between internal and external perspectives on utilising non-core technologies. In addition, the underlying reasons for these differences would provide a fruitful opportunity for future research. Moreover, practical assessment and utilisation of non-core technologies and their assessment methods needs to be further developed to facilitate the linking of external and internal views. Finally, considering the uncertainty affecting the success of a technology project, portfolio management of non-core technologies could help in increasing the average success rate of development projects.