Managing Cultural Change in the Laboratory

(Study barriers to change imposed from outside the R&D organization)

A Subcommittee on this topic developed a questionnaire in cooperation with the Technology Management Center at Rutgers University. The survey was sent to the membership of IRI and its counterparts in Europe and Japan. Conclusions from over 300 responses were reviewed in a Special Interest Session at the 1988 Fall Meeting. For companies in the U.S., success factors were the speed with which top management coped with change, top-management commitment to change, and the ability to use champions and teams. For Japanese companies, teams were at the top in importance, followed by top-management-response time, top-management commitment, and prior success. The project was expanded in cooperation with CIMS and the Sloan Foundation to focus on individuals in R&D labs and the impact of diversity on their output. Over 3,000 persons were surveyed on the problems and opportunities posed by their cultural background. A Special Interest Session on "Managing R&D Personnel in the 1990's" was sponsored at the 1989 Fall Meeting. Results were published in RTM during 1991.