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Designing technology management in SMEs

: Schulte-Gehrmann, Anna-Lena; Wellensiek, Markus; Schubert, Johannes; Schuh, Günther

Kahlil, Tarek; Hosni, Jasser; Hung, Shih-Chang:
Managing Technology-Service Convergences in a Post-industrialized Society. Proceedings of the 21st IAMOT Conference : Taiwan, Hsinchu; 18.03.2012 - 22.03.2012
Hsinchu, Taiwan: National Tsing Hua University, 2012
ISBN: 0-9815817-5-7
19 pp.
International Association of Management of Technology (IAMOT International Conference) <21, 2012, Hsinchu/Taiwan>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPT ()
technology management; SME; technology intelligence; Technologiemanagement; Technologieplanung

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in technology-intensive industries contribute significantly to the overall economic performance of European countries. The identification, assessment, planning and implementation of new technologies has become an important management task in SMEs in order to keep up with technological progress and to gain sustainable competitive advantage. Still, empirical findings imply that many SMEs have not established a systematic explicit technology management so far. This deficit often roots in a lacking adaption of technology management organisation concepts to the specific demands of SMEs. In this paper, we present a design concept for technology management in SMEs. All elements of the concept are explained and resulting implications for organizing technology management in SMEs are discussed. The underlying work is based on a qualitative research process for applied sciences containing elements from systems and model theory and from organization theory. Explanatory concepts which have been elaborated deductively based on practical cases and problems are included in the overall method. As a basis for deriving design recommendations for technology management in SMEs, typical attributes of SMEs are identified. We discuss the interrelations between the general attributes and the resulting tasks to be carried out in technology management as well as recommendations on favourable organisational options. In this context, typical intrinsic strengths and weaknesses of SMEs referring to the ability to perform technology management are pointed out and considered in the design recommendations. The focus is put on general cross-functional aspects of technology management and on the process of technology intelligence. Besides these general attributes valid for any technological-oriented SME, special situational factors have to be considered. This aspect is briefly explained in this paper. The proposed concept not only focuses on design recommendations, but derives them deductively in a systematic manner from the typical attributes of SMEs and other situational factors. Therefore, the concept pursues a holistic approach to explain the specialties of SMEs to be addressed in organizing technology management. For this reason, the benefit of the concept is twofold: On the one hand, it contributes to technology man agement theory and on the other hand, it assists practitioners from SMEs in establishing a systematic technology management in their company.