The R&d Workers: Managing Innovation in Britain, Germany, Japan, and the United States

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The scientists, engineers, and technologists who develop new products and apply new technologies – collectively, the R&D workers – are vital in today's competitive and technologically demanding business environment. Of critical importance, therefore, is how they are selected, trained, and managed, and how their activities are linked to other aspects of production. Using a variety of methods, the International Research Group on R&D Management, nine analysts from universities and research centers in four major industrialized nations, examine the organization and management of R&D workers in and between their respective countries, and from a unique interdisciplinary perspective. Drawing on data provided by more than 1,800 engineers and scientists in 23 countries, the authors find that while companies maintain distinctive approaches to managing their R&D workers, the pressures of technological change and global competition are forcing them to rethink the entire operation. To be taken into consideration now are such factors as the underlying technical skills of the workers, group dynamics, intra- and intercompany linkages, research authority and flexibility, research sources, career paths, reward systems, and personal and team development – all of which are covered here, succinctly and readably. The result is a useful comparative study for top management and their human resource and planning staffs, and for academics concerned with all aspects of organizational behavior, training, and development.

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