The R&D/Production Interface: A Four-country Comparison (Englisch)

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Much is being said about the comparative productivity of the industrialised countries. This study looks at the development and introduction of new products in a single manufacturing industry in four countries — the United Kingdom, West Germany, the United States and Japan. Data were collected from 54 companies in the scientific instrument industry concerning 65 new product design projects. These data show that there are significant differences in investment in R&D, in firm productivity, in R&D rewards and motivation, in project manager openness to new ideas, in project team ability, and in the communication of problem definitions and design data among the companies in the industry in the four countries. The factors important to project and company success in this industry vary from country to country and from stage to stage of the development process. Communications at the production/R&D interface and lack of CEO involvement are the particular problems of the US companies.

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