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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Volume 29, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 45–58
The main purpose of this paper is to understand whether the research of developing and developed countries in the technology management (TM) field converge or diverge in terms of topics, approaches, research focus, and methods. International trends are explored based on the comparison of developed and developing countries’ academia, conducted through a content analysis of the main TM journals over the period of 1995–2005. The analysis of a random sample of 325 articles indicates a clear differentiation of major topics studied by developing and developed country academics. The paper ends with a call for future studies to focus more on the particularities of developing countries in order to enrich the TM literature by increasing our understanding of TM theory and its applications in developing countries.
This paper aims to answer the following question: does the research in developing and developed countries converge or diverge in terms of technology management (TM) research agendas, approaches, and methods? In other words, the goal is to generate an overview of TM research that will demonstrate international trends in the field, based on a comparison of the developed and developing countries’ academic output. For the purposes of this study, academic output is operationalized as publications in international TM journals. Management literature, by and large, acknowledges the dominance of US-based theories in management research across the globe (Baruch, 2001; Boyacigiller and Adler, 1991). This general dominance is not verified for different sub-disciplines of management at the empirical level, with few exceptions such as a study carried out for organizational studies (Üsdiken and Pasadeos, 1995). Studies investigating any US or developed country dominance are also lacking for the TM literature. Early studies analyzing the TM field were Allen and Varghese (1989) and Adler (1989), which were followed by a long gap until the upsurge in the 2000s (Ball and Rigby, 2005; Beard, 2002; Liao, 2005; Pilkington and Teichert, 2006; Roberts, 2004). As one of the pioneers, Adler's (1989) study consists of a systematic literature review identifying the underlying themes and concepts related to technology strategy. More recent review papers analyzed the historical development in specific TM journals (Allen, 2004; Merino et al., 2006; Linstone, 1999; Pilkington and Teichert, 2006; Teichert and Pilkington, 2006). Even though there is a renewed interest in reviewing the TM field, there are no review papers focusing on developing countries per se.1 In fact, none of the aforementioned TM review papers consider the particularities of developing countries vis-à-vis developed countries, except for a few remarks. This paper is one of the early attempts to analyze the TM literature in order to understand the similarities and differences of research published in major TM journals by authors coming from developing and developed countries. A comparative account of research carried out in developed and developing countries is presented along the following dimensions: (1) the general characteristics of articles, such as author affiliations and methodologies used, and (2) in-depth analysis of the research topics. For this purpose, a content analysis is carried out on 10 major TM journals (Ball and Rigby, 2005; Linton and Thongpapanl, 2004), focusing on the period from 1995 to 2005. Section 2 of the paper will present an overview of the TM literature, followed by a section on the methodology adopted in the content analysis of the literature. Section 4 presents the results of the content analysis and hence demonstrates the general trends in TM literature, as well as the differences between developing and developed country TM research. The Section 5 ends with concluding remarks, the limitations of this study, and suggestions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper mainly investigated the trends in the TM field based on the differentiation of developed and developing country academia. By generating an overview of the TM field, the goal was to compare trends in the developing and industrialized country knowledge bases. The overall analyses produced two important findings: (1) the TM field is dominated mainly by developed countries and (2) there are substantial differences among the topics investigated in developed and developing country studies. Eighty-three percent of all papers published in the 10 main TM journals in the period of 1995–2005 are developed country articles. This dominance is further confirmed by the result that 36% of the developing country articles are written either by developed country authors or by a collaboration of developing and developed country authors. This is in line with the findings of Riesman's (1994) study on the 40-year history of the TM discipline. Riesman (1994) urges scholars and scientific institutions to be reflexive about the phenomenon of “natural drift,” which denotes the “natural tendency towards professional regression where a small professional elite core maintains intellectual control over a much wider jurisdiction.” Due to the dominance of developed country authors, it is not surprising to observe their influence on determining the research agenda to which both developed and developing country academics oblige. In our study, we particularly observe that even though the relative importance of the topic varies among developed and developing country articles, there are at least three major common topics, namely “organization,” “technology policy,” and “technology acquisition.” Although our study revealed that developed country authors are the dominating actors in the creation of TM knowledge, this has not led to a total convergence of developing and developed country studies. A significant relationship was found between an article's classification as a developed or developing country study and its focus on the five most common topics. Apart from the differences in the rankings of the most important topics for developing and developed country studies, there are some topics that do not take place in their individual lists. The two topics that do not appear in the list of developed countries are “R&D management” and “technological change & technological development.” Similarly, developed country studies have two topics that are different from developing country studies, namely “technology strategy” and “new product development & design innovation.” This is an indication that there is a divergence of topics of interest for developed and developing countries. The major difference between developed and developing countries in terms of the TM research agenda may be due to the different levels of national technological capabilities, as it has been stated that the “mastering of existing technologies” is a major concern for developing countries while the “boosting innovative performance” is important for developed countries (Amsden and Hikino, 1994; Dahlman et al., 1987; Lall, 1998, Lall, 2000 and Lall, 2001). The different experiences and peculiarities of developing countries’ problems in terms of transfer and adaptation of technology as well as technological capability accumulation processes might require different managerial/organizational practices. This may very well generate context-dependent practical needs that are likely to be reflected in the local researchers’ agenda. There might be many other reasons behind the observed divergence; however, a full discussion is out of the scope of this paper. Nonetheless, this paper aims to show that it is important to pay attention to cross-cultural researchers who argue that there is no universal theory of TM as argued (Hafsi and Farashahi, 2005; Hofstede 1993; Jaeger, 1990). Understanding divergence is critical for two main reasons. (1) Meta-theoretical assumptions supporting US-based management theories and practices should be questioned, particularly in regards to their deployment in non-Western contexts. (2) The emphasis of research on “cultural differences” imply “separation,” which would also conceal other social and cultural formations established through global relationships (Boyacigiller and Adler, 1991; Doktor et al., 1991; Özkazanç-Pan, 2008). Thus, there is a need to understand the particularities of developing countries in order to increase our understanding of TM theory and its applications. Conclusive comments about the convergence of academic disciplines and their reasons such as increased globalization call for further scrutiny. Even though some literature reviews for the TM field exist, data necessary to pass judgments on the convergence and divergence views is lacking. Knowing that the TM literature does not simply consist of topics of interest solely to advanced nations might motivate an understanding of the distinction of developed and developing countries. This, in turn, will improve the incorporation of particular TM issues and problems of developing countries into the academic arena. As this paper focused on identifying the trends in the TM literature with an emphasis on whether developing and developed country studies differ, the purpose was not to attempt to explain why these differences exist. However, the proposed reasons behind the differences noted here are worth studying further. An additional avenue of research might be why many TM topics, such as “social and ethical aspects of technology management,” do not have enough coverage in TM journals. This might open up questions of what really constitutes the TM field. Before concluding, it is important to mention of a limitation of the study arising from the selection of journals as TM outlets. As noted by Pilkington and Teichert (2006), the establishment of the TM discipline has been a slow process, perhaps due to TM researchers preferring to publish their best work in more established general journals rather than in TM-specific journals. Thus, an extension of this study might be to incorporate influential management journals rather than just focusing on TM journals. We hope that this paper will attract enough interest in knowledge differences in the TM field across the globe, and by doing so, there will be follow-up studies to understand the knowledge generation drivers in developing countries. Combining research themes in developed and developing country studies will contribute to developing the TM discipline further as a respected academic discipline.