هم افزایی تحقیق و توسعه شرکت و استراتژی های رقابتی: مطالعه اکتشافی شرکت های با تکنولوژی های پیشرفته در استرالیا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4109||2000||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of High Technology Management Research, Volume 11, Issue 1, Spring 2000, Pages 93–107
This project examines how Australian high technology companies approach the synergy between corporate R&D and strategic management. Research hypotheses are tested empirically using the data collected from a number of Australian firms in three selected industrial sectors: information technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The results suggest that the responding firms have been aware of the importance of integrating R&D decision making with corporate strategic management as well as the consistency between R&D and competitive strategies. In particular, the development of higher value-added products with a focus on a particular market segment has been stressed in directing corporate R&D programs and projects.
Industrial research and development (R&D) has been emphasized in Australia because of the potential impacts that R&D could generate on the achievement of a competitive edge in the marketplace. Many technology-based companies have not only had medium- to long-term plans for technological development but also allocated certain amount of resources on R&D (Johnston et al., 1990). However, corporate involvement in R&D is still limited although the government has provided tax incentives to industrial R&D since 1986. R&D spending by the private sector remained around 0.5% of Australian Gross Domestic Product in the 1980s and early 1990s (ABS, 1991), and gradually increased to 0.87% in the mid 1990s (ABS, 1997). Despite evidence that there is an increasing trend on private R&D spending, statistics show that Australia was still ranked below average among countries associated with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the mid 1990s (ABS, 1997). Australian private industry has relatively less involvement in R&D compared with the private sector of other OECD countries such as Japan, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States. Several critical factors that influence the research capability of companies include the small size and limited technological sophistication of Australian manufacturing base, the relative absence of large technology-oriented companies, the small domestic market and limited availability of capital (TFCR, 1991). A study by the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce (DITC, 1991) indicates that manufacturing firms exhibited a low rate of technology adoption. Australian industry as a whole was also not able to capitalize on the results of a significant proportion of technologically successful R&D (PCEK & BCG, 1991). As a matter of fact, Australia has achieved a great success in the development of science and technology because the number of patent applications lodged in foreign countries by Australian has dramatically increased since 1980. Instead of the limitation of technical expertise, inexperience in strategic management and commercialization of R&D often prevents companies from achieving a return on investments. Many R&D projects that did not achieve success did not fail for technical reasons (PCEK & BCG, 1991). Actually, major obstacles include inadequate market access, inaccurate judgment of markets, customers and competitors and insufficient financial resources. The technology-intensive industries such as information technology, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology are relatively small in comparison to the resource-based industries in Australia. According to the Industrial Research and Development Board (IR&DB, 1991), Australian firms carried out less R&D per unit of value added than their international counterparts in a similar industry. In addition, the gap between Australia's private expenditure and that of other nations could be partly accounted for by the fact that Australia has a small proportion of technology-intensive industries such as electronics and pharmaceuticals. Most high-tech companies in these industries are small- and medium-sized enterprises in which limited funds are available for R&D. Furthermore, the market has little influences on corporate R&D because many research projects are financially supported by government and conducted in public research institutions and universities (TFCR, 1991). The need to strengthen corporate R&D in the private sector was stressed over the last decade (Johnston et al., 1990; PCEK & BCG, 1991; TFCR 1991 and Liao & Greenfield 1998). Prior studies provided considerable insight on industrial R&D and corporate technology management in Australia. However, a review of existing literature revealed that there was limited empirical research on the influence of competitive strategies on R&D decision making and the integration between strategic management and corporate R&D. Therefore, a survey was conducted to fill the research gap by exploring the impact of competitive strategies on the decision making of corporate R&D programs and projects in the Australian context. It placed an emphasis on the synergy of corporate R&D and strategic management in technology-based companies. The remaining part of this paper begins with a description of research background and related hypotheses, followed by the research methodologies. Statistical results of the survey are then presented and the hypotheses are examined. Furthermore, the implications of the study to practical R&D decision making in corporate environments are discussed. Finally, the limitations of the study and the avenues for future research are highlighted.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
A comprehensive examination of the above-mentioned generic competitive strategy alternatives and their impact on the decision making of corporate R&D in Australian high-tech companies considerably supports most of the proposed hypotheses. As a matter of fact, many responding companies surveyed are small- and medium-sized technology-based enterprises. Little diversification and limited focus in terms of market segments naturally determines the scope of their R&D activities. However, some of these companies have very intensive R&D programs although resources are very limited in any aspects. Practically, they make use of their resources effectively by placing greater emphasis on the focus-segment higher value-added and the focus-segment cost advantage strategies for a relatively narrow market segment than other strategy alternatives. However, companies have a very similar view on the cost advantage strategy since they are concerned about costs associated with R&D activities. The findings of this project provide an evidence to support the necessity of the integration between corporate R&D decision making and strategic management. This is because each strategy alternative seems to not only influence the decision making of corporate R&D, but also lead a particular direction of a corporate R&D program and/or project. Therefore, it is important that an R&D project chosen must be consistent with a competitive strategy and play a role in reinforcing the competitive strategy. In addition, an R&D project must be treated as an activity guided explicitly by a particular competitive strategy during the life cycle of the project. However, the assessment of competitive forces is fundamental to appreciate the current competitive situation in a particular market segment. As a result, a company might be able to achieve competitive advantages in the marketplace by providing more features in its high value-added products. The company might also be able to protect its products on the basis of superior technology derived from unique research. These could be realized by choosing and undertaking a series of R&D projects that are consistent with consumer demands together with competitive forces in the industry. A technology-based company might decide to differentiate its products by focusing on a particular market segment. It should, therefore, consider using a portfolio approach, which integrates both product R&D and process R&D to facilitate its differentiation strategy. Product R&D could include developing very specific models to satisfy the demand of its targeting consumer groups. On the other hand, process R&D in relation to quality assurance, maintenance and reliability could also be carried out to facilitate product R&D. Such a portfolio approach can assist a company to design a comprehensive R&D program to deal with a dynamic business environment. It may enable the company to develop core competence and to enhance its competitive edge, ranging from cost reduction, quality improvement of existing products, development of new products, to major technological breakthroughs that may possibly create new market opportunities. Nevertheless, the difficulty in commercialization of R&D is not unique in the Australian context. There is little doubt that many technology-based firms have experienced a similar obstacle in the process of innovation. To conduct an R&D project is usually not a short-term commitment, because it might involve a substantial amount of resources and investments. The commercialization of an R&D project means the successful marketing of innovative or improved product(s). However, commercialization involves the following considerations. First, a firm's R&D should result in a technically successful innovation and/or invention with commercial potential. Second, the firm is able to not only transform the innovation/invention into competitive product(s), but also market the product(s) in targeted market segment(s). However, a number of variables and competitive forces might create barriers to the commercialization of R&D. A changing industry and market environment might shift the influences of different variables on corporate R&D. Uncertainty and risk should not be underestimated. It is desirable if a firm is able to immediately respond to any changes and adjust its competitive strategies. There is an increasing difficulty on R&D decision making for technology-based firms in highly competitive environments. As far as this is concerned, a contingent decision-making approach incorporating various plans might be useful in strategic R&D planning. The integration of R&D into strategic management of a technology-based company should facilitate the commercialization of research results. This is because R&D is required to be in line with a strategic direction of the company. The integration also enables the company to conduct projects being consistent with a well-defined competitive strategy. If R&D projects were evaluated and selected with respect to a predetermined competitive strategy, the results derived from the projects would have a potential to be commercialized successfully. However, a competitive strategy must be formulated on the basis of a comprehensive assessment of a number of competitive forces in an industry and multiple variables in particular market environments. Especially, market demand must be incorporated into the formulation of competitive strategy and the planning of R&D. In summary, consistency with a predetermined competitive strategy should be an essential criterion for R&D project selection. It should also act as a linkage between R&D and corporate strategic planning. As a result, sophisticated technology derived from R&D might not only strengthen the competitiveness of a company in the marketplace but also lead to new opportunities in the long run. Therefore, synergy between R&D and strategic management is vital for enterprising corporate R&D projects in order to achieve long-term strategic objectives. This study should have practical implications. What is unique about Australian case may be applicable to different decision-making environments in other countries. It is expected that our results should be intrinsically interesting to R&D managers of non-Australian companies. However, it has limitations because the use of competitive strategies in practice should extend beyond the generic strategy alternatives being considered. Companies might have many other unique competitive strategy alternatives in individual environments. In addition, competitive strategies might involve a variety of patterns. Different terms might be used to describe individual competitive strategies. Furthermore, industrial environments including competitive characteristics and growth prospects in different industries might determine the use of a particular competitive strategy. Therefore, it is desirable if this paper could stimulate research in relation to corporate R&D and strategic management. Future research in the form of case study would be meaningful to examine the interaction between a particular competitive strategy and R&D in a particular company. A longitudinal study could also be conducted to explore the actual impact of individual competitive strategy on R&D in different industry environments.Industry Research and Development Board. 1991, Pappas PCEK &BCG) and Queensland Department of Business Regional Development QDBIRD), Directory of Research & Development in Queensland, 1991