College of Product Innovation and Technology Management (PITM)
Submitted by Jane Davies
Judge Business School, Cambridge University
Events held in conjunction with the POMS Conference in Vancouver were as follows.
A “Meet the Editors” session, jointly sponsored with the College of Sustainability, highlighted three upcoming POM special issues:
Editors highlighted their visions and timelines for each issue, followed by an interactive discussion with the audience. The importance of both theory building and providing managerial insights were highlighted, as well as an openness to a variety of methodologies for submissions to the special issues.
- Integrating Innovation in Distributed Environments edited by Edward Anderson and Geoffrey Parker;
- Technology Commercialization and Startup Operations edited by Nitin Joglekar and Moren Levesque
- New Product Development, Innovation and Sustainability edited by Mark Ferguson, Glen Schmidt, and Gilvan Souza.
“Fellows lectures” were given by the 2008 PITM fellow Cheryl Gaimon (Georgia Tech) and the 2010 fellow Christoph Loch (INSEAD).
First Cheryl Gaimon provided a retrospective of the field through her 30-year career in technology management. Emphasizing that technology choice is an important endogenous decision variable in achieving competitive advantage, Cheryl described how management of technology had evolved as a discipline. She highlighted some of the important contributions technology management research had made including; understanding the dynamic issue of how the cost and price of technology change over time, recognizing the need to focus on profit maximization and pricing strategies rather than just cost minimization, and identifying the important function flexible technology plays when making investment decisions. She also emphasized the need to consider technology within the broader set of resource capabilities, particular the impact technology changes and upgrades have on the workforce both in terms of disruptions and skill enhancement. Management of technology provides opportunities for research from multiple disciplines utilizing multiple methods as demonstrated by the variety of articles published by the Management of Technology department of the POMS journal. From her experience, Cheryl stressed the importance of personal interests in choice of topic and how her own research interests had been driven by her knowledge from working first hand with companies.
Christoph Loch continued to emphasize the importance of personal experience as he took a forward looking view of the field of innovation. He stressed the need to identify practical problems when defining the context for research. The recognition by companies of innovation as a lever for competitive advantage had been increasing, however, the community of innovation scholars, although growing, had not kept pace with the need for supporting research. Christoph identified a number of reasons for this gap. First, innovation research is harder than other areas of operations because of the complex, ambiguous nature of translating ideas to a recipe for production. Secondly, it is multi-disciplinary in nature, needing to draw from the fields of marketing, organizational behaviour and strategy as well as operations. Finally, there is often a lack of data and a need to use multiple methods in innovation research. Christoph noted though that this offers an opportunity to look at some exciting problems that companies actually want answers for. OM scholars are well positioned and have the capabilities to address these problems, but he noted this would involve collaborative research with a consideration of literature in other fields, the application of multiple methods and keeping companies in the feedback loop.
Christoph Loch was recognized as the 2010 PITM Fellow (shown here with Award Committee Chair Cheryl Druehl). Christoph is the GlaxoSmithKline Chaired Professor of Corporate Innovation and Professor of Technology and Operations Management at INSEAD.
Professor Loch has been crucial in building the New Product Development community through his contributions as a pioneer, a distinguished researcher, a devoted mentor and a link between academics and managers. He has repeatedly broken new ground and redefined his research topics, such as behavioral operations, using psychology, emotions and status to explain the behavior of the people involved in NPD and R&D. He has published over 50 papers and 7 books.
Professor Loch should also be recognized for his tremendous contribution to our field through his service. He has held several editorial positions, including Department Editor for New Product Development, R&D and Project Management at Production and Op’s Management, Department Editor for Technological Innovation, Product Development and Entrepreneurship at Management Science, and Senior Editor for Manufacturing & Service Op’s Management.
The Award Committee consisted of: Cheryl Druehl, George Mason University, Chair (on the left); Stylianos Kavadias, Georgia Tech; and Jürgen Mihm, INSEAD.
This was followed by the announcement of the newly elected officers for 2010-11. Outgoing president, Nitin Joglekar, gave a special message of thanks to the outgoing team of Thomas Roemer (UCSD), Geoffrey Parker (Tulane), Cheryl Druehl (George Mason), Glen Schmidt (Utah), and Stelios Kavadias (Georgia Tech) for their work and achievements during the last two years.