Organizational Dynamics and the Evolutionary Dilemma between Diversity and Standardization in Mission-Oriented Research Programmes: An Illustration
AbstractThe American NASP programme - National Aero Space Plane - is a good illustration of the evolutionary dilemma between variety and standardization in management of mission-oriented R&D. This dilemma relates to the trade-off between the need to explore the technological diversity in order to avoid the risk of being locked-in on the wrong technological option, and the need to share the knowledge produce through the experiments. In this regard, two main organizational designs can be considered: -the 'mainlining' strategy gathering all the partners in an 'club', exploring the potential of one alternative, allowing the sharing knowledge, and -a network of simultaneous competing technological projects, allowing a synchronic exploration of the technological variety The NASP programme was dedicated to the design of radical technology innovation system, and then was basically characterized by a structural uncertainty arising from the structural change it involved in the technological basis. In this case the lack of guide mark resulted from technological discontinuities in the innovation process. Moreover, the research activities were impeded by strong indivisibilities in the research outcomes needed for the design and demonstration of an hypersonic airbreathing propulsion system. This situation was due to the specific properties of the knowledge about hypersonic technology- strong compacity, low scalability and low analogic connections with other scientific and/or technological fields. This creates a strong need for the production of new infratechnologies, instrumentalities and research infrastructures, i.e. infrastructural knowledge and infrastructure facilities. In this case, the adoption of the "mainlining approach" in the management of the programme can be justified.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in its series Working Papers with number ir98023.
Date of creation: May 1998
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: A-2361 Laxenburg
Web page: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Publications/Catalog/PUB_ONLINE.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
- Fransman, Martin, 1995. "Is National Technology Policy Obsolete in a Globalised World? The Japanese Response," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 95-119, February.
- Rosenberg, Nathan, 1992. "Scientific instrumentation and university research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 381-390, August.
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
- David, Paul A. & Rothwell, Geoffrey S., 1996. "Standardization, diversity and learning: Strategies for the coevolution of technology and industrial capacity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 181-201.
- Steinmueller,W. Edward, 1995. "Technology infrastructure in information technology industries," Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- Tassey, Gregory, 1991. "The functions of technology infrastructure in a competitive economy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 345-361, August.
- Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
- David, Paul A., 1994. "Why are institutions the 'carriers of history'?: Path dependence and the evolution of conventions, organizations and institutions," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 205-220, December.
- Cohen, Linda R & Edelman, Susan A & Noll, Roger G, 1991. "The National Aerospace Plane: An American Technological Long Shot, Japanese Style," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 50-53, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.