Student guide Faculty of Engineering A.Y. 2008/09

Models for Technological Decision-Making
Aim of the course
Students will acquire the fundamental elements necessary for a correct approach to technological decision-making, and management of the ensuing processes. An overview of the organisational implications of technological innovation is followed by an examination of make-or-buy decision with respect to services and production (potentially induced by technological innovation itself) and an in-depth study of the managerial stages involved in the engineering and implementation of new processes.

1. The impact of technological innovation (overview)
1.1. The systems vision
1.2. Organisational change

2. Criteria for technological decision-making
2.1. Choosing between different technologies
- Meaning of choice
- Relationship with innovation
- Context analysis
2.2. Make or buy decisions
- Implications on the "core" business
- The make or buy framework

3. Outsourcing (the buy case)
3.1 Characterising aspects
- Levels
- Outsourcing, facility management, global service
- Partnership rationales
- Networks between firms (overview)
3.2 Development of projects
- Outsourcing of services
- Outsourcing of production
- Benchmarking (overview)

4. The make case
4.1 Process engineering
- Interactions between company functions
- Evaluation phases
- Change management
4.2 Implementation
- Training
- Measurement of results
- Managing improvement
There will be an oral examination, in addition to which students
have the option of presenting a "mini-thesis" paper for extra credit.
Reading list
Reference textbooks
Course notes provided by the lecturers.
Further reading
Ettlie J.E., Managing Technological Innovation, 2000
Greaver M., Strategic Outsourcing: a structural approach to outsourcing decisions and initiatives, 1999
Probert D., Developing a make or buy strategy for manufacturing business, 1997
Armstrong S., Engineering and product development management: the holistic approach, 2001