Managing Engineering and Technology Study Set 1

Business

Quiz 9 :

Managing Research and Development

Quiz 9 :

Managing Research and Development

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How would you try to evaluate the effectiveness of researchers if you were their research manager?
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The effectiveness of a researcher is difficult to evaluate because research is not a task to track the progress easily on the regular schedule. In essence, the results obtained from research can have a very high variability in time required to achieve them.
The researchers' effectiveness can be evaluated using the performance appraisal technique - Management by objective.
• The research manager could evaluate the effectiveness is by comparing the efforts and results obtained by the researchers commensurate to their research experience.
• Another way to evaluate progress is by setting milestones that the researcher believes are fair and realistic, and comparing the researcher's progress to the established milestones.
These ways the managers could evaluate the effectiveness of the researchers.

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What are some of the support services an organization might provide to make the work of researchers and design engineers more effective?
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One very useful support service an organization can provide to assist researchers and design engineers is to provide a professional and knowledgeable IT service to handle computer problems. The IT department staff needs to be competent enough to handle the difficult computer-related challenges often faced by technical specialists.
Another useful support service is to provide administration assistants to a research or design team. The goal of these administration assistants is to minimize the amount of paperwork and non-research related work of the technical specialists.
Finally, an organization can provide technicians to the research or design team that can help with running experiments and keeping research equipment working in optimal condition. In short, all the services just mentioned help the researchers and engineers dedicate their time solely to the work that they specialize on.

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An engineer proposes to buy a machine for $100,000 today that will save $60,000 in labor costs at the end of each of the next two years. If the company demands a 15 percent return on investments such as this, what is the net present worth (NPW) of the proposal? Should it be funded?
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Net Present Worth (NPW) is calculated using the following formula.
img Where,
i represents the annual rate of return
A j is the return from the investment
n is the number of years
Investment is the amount of money spent
As per the question specifications,
i = 0.15,
A j = $60,000,
n = 2,
Investment = $100,000
Therefore,
img img img The NPW of the proposal is -$2,457.47
This means that the company would be better off without this investment and therefore the proposal should not be funded.

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Why are simple checklists used as a first screening of ideas in research projects by many companies?
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Summarize the principal contributions to U.S. R D activity by each of ( a ) the federal government; ( b ) industry; and ( c ) universities.
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Discuss how the management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling relate to research and development.
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If you have been exposed to capital investment analysis and/or engineering economy, comment on the proposal to invest $1 million in a new product now that is projected to generate $200,000 profit at the end of each year for eight years, assuming that your company requires 15 percent return on investment before taxes.
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In an industry with which you are familiar, give an example of one or more firms that appear to have chosen each of Ansoff and Stewart's new product strategies.
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Would the same kind of leader be suitable throughout Betz's technology life cycle? If not, what kind of leader would be effective in each portion of it?
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Discuss the relationship between the central corporate research laboratory and divisional research in a corporation you know or have found described in the literature.
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Contrast the application of Blanchard's product life cycle with that of Betz's technology life cycle.
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What are some of the steps a manager can take to encourage creativity in his or her technical employees?
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As an R D manager, what actions might you take or programs might you implement to assure your organization got maximum benefit from patentable ideas?
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How do the kinds of ideas best protected by patent differ from those best protected by keeping them a trade secret?
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Your company has two alternative opportunities, each requiring your entire capital investment budget of $325,000. Alternative A will return $390,000 at the end of one year; alternative B will return $216,000 at the end of each of the first two years. Which (if either) alternative should you recommend on the basis of (a) simple payback time? (b) net present worth?
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