A technometric model for the assessment of technological standards and their application to selected technology-intensive products
This article presents a quantitative model for the assessment of technological standards, which is applied to a sample of Japanese data compiled in 1982 that gives technical specifications of high-technology or high- commodity goods in Japan, the United States, and in some Western European countries. The metric model provides a systematic and checkable methodology by which to assess the achieved technological standards and disparities, allowing for cardinal measuring on different levels of aggregation. It does not consider the economic features of the products and processes analysed. The application of the model to a sample of 43 selected products (e.g., polyester filaments, color papers, coaxial cables, powder metallurgical products, machining centers, assembly robots, videotape recorders, semiconductor lasers, automobiles, nuclear reactors, to name only ten) of Japanese, U.S., and European origin (more than 5,500 data) indicates that despite the overall lead of Japan and the United States over European technological standards, the relative position of European- especially West German-technology is above average with respect to key technologies. Through the analysis of all technical specifications available, we show that the Japanese position is strong in technologies related to resources and environment, whereas the United States is in the lead in computer- aided design technologies.