The following introduction to the subject of R&D management
appeared as a chapter in The Gower Handbook of Management, Editor Dennis Lock,
fourth edition, Autumn 1998, Price £75. The
distributors of the handbook are Bookpoint, Tel. 01235 827730, Fax. 01235
Research and Development is widely used to describe the activity in
a company where scientists and engineers are employed to extend the science or
technology underlying the companys work and to develop new products,
processes or services. A company that fails to improve its products and replace
those that become obsolete will suffer declining profitability due to the
activities of competitors and the advance of technology generally. Some leading
companies claim that thirty per cent of their revenues at any one time are due
to products developed in the previous three years. In more mature sectors of
industry the pace of change is slower, but profit margins tend to be smaller in
mature sectors and relatively small advances become important.
|Definition - What is R&D?