Title: Network organization for inter-firm R&D activities: experiences of Japanese small businesses

Authors: Koichi Furukawa, Yoshiya Teramoto, Makoto Kanda

Addresses: Tokyo Institute of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2-12-1 0-okayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan. ' Meiji Gakuin University, Department of Business Administration, Tokyo, Japan. ' Graduate of Systems Management, University of Tsukuba, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract: Japanese small business has become aware of the importance of strengthening its own abilities on research and development. To overcome the shortage of intra-organisational resources and rather narrower markets, small businesses are forming a kind of corporate network or group for developing their own technology, which is called Inter-industrial Network for Technological Activities (INTAC). INTAC is an effective approach to developing the R&D of small businesses, characterized as a network organization. This paper proposes a tentative model for a dynamic, evolving process of INTAC activities, which is tested by an empirical study. The results show that INTAC, born as a network organization, is transformed into a hierarchical organization as it evolves. Through this process, INTAC enables small businesses to develop their own technology, and to commercialize it.

Keywords: small businesses; Japanese industry; industrial networks; technological development; Japan; technology management; inter-firm R&D; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1990.025832

International Journal of Technology Management, 1990 Vol.5 No.1, pp.27 - 40

Published online: 25 May 2009 *

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