Technology roadmap for exploitative development : A case study of a manufacturing company

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle

Abstract: Manufacturing companies are facing many challenges with globalisation, changing customer demands and technology development. In order to stay competitive, manufacturing companies have to constantly develop their processes and products, and at the same time generating innovations to meet future demands. This increasing demand for development is shifting the generation of innovations from single units to collaboration within the whole organisation. Technology roadmap is a strategic management tool to help organisations map the future and identify potential products and technology, determining needed resource allocations to meet future demands. Research regarding Technology roadmaps has previously been associated with exploratory innovations and development, not mentioning or discussing the use of it for exploitative development. This study will investigate Technology roadmaps for exploitative development, based on a single case study in a large high technology manufacturing company.  The results shows that manufacturing units have troubles with deciding appropriate detailed level in the map, and the purpose for exploitative development to illustrating what needs to be done in order to meet future demands, rather on aligning product development with long term business strategy that is associated with exploratory development. The findings from this study put the theoretical implications for Technology roadmap in a new categorization of Exploitative development and the need of research regarding different hierarchical roadmaps within an organisation. Practical implications from the study are highlighting challenges and purposes for exploitative development units to adapt and use technology roadmaps, and that there are major differences between exploratory development and exploitative development with designing and purpose of the technology roadmap.

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