Title: Managing parallel development towards technological transitions

Authors: Tomoatsu Shibata

Addresses: Tohoku University, 27-1, Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8576, Japan

Abstract: Companies are faced with the challenge of responding to the emergence of new technologies. To reduce uncertainties, there is an incentive for companies to get involved in a new technology while continuing to use their existing technology until final decisions can be made, a strategy called 'parallel development'. Parallel development is good for companies because it provides more options and defers the need for decision making until uncertainties about the new technology are sufficiently reduced. However, parallel development does not just simply consist of developing new technologies alongside existing ones. Moreover, to date there has not been sufficient research into the management of parallel development. This paper will describe a framework of parallel development for successful technological transition, and then illustrate the effectiveness of parallel development through the successful examples of Fanuc, Ltd., and Matsushita Electric Industrial Corporation.

Keywords: technological transitions; technological change; plasma displays; NC machine tools; parallel development; Matsushita Electric Industrial Corporation; Panasonic Corporation; Japan; FANUC Corporation; factory automatic numerical control; competing technologies; new technologies; existing technology; decision making; uncertainties; technology management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2012.049427

International Journal of Technology Management, 2012 Vol.60 No.3/4, pp.281 - 301

Received: 19 May 2011
Accepted: 26 Sep 2011

Published online: 06 Apr 2013 *

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