Technology Management Framework – Gregory’s Five-Process Model

The Gregory’s five-process frame work is an important technology management model, which has been proposed in 1995 by M. J. Gregory. This process has been built based on previous work on technology management. There are several elements have been identified previously link to the technology management within organizations. Competence and capability are important to be analyzed within the organization to understand the strength and weakness. They also reflect how well the organization can satisfy the customers and how fast the organization may response the market. According to this analysis, the company can identify the suitable technology strategy. Organization learning is also widely used concept in technology management. R&D development and new product introduction are the processes which technology is applied in. Innovation activities are taken to deliver the customer satisfaction. However, there is no agreed framework for technology management has been proposed.

Based on the literature research on previous work and the development of technology management in many companies, Gregory proposed the 5 processes frame work for technology management. The 5 processes have been identified as below:

  1. Identification
  2. Selection
  3. Acquisition
  4. Exploitation
  5. Protection

Technology Management Framework - Gregory's Five-Process Model

It aims to identify the suitable technologies can be used now or in the future in the identification phase. The identification will be conducted through a systematic review of existing technology, emerging technology and in-house developed technology.  The information needed in this phase to conduct review includes external drivers, marketing analysis, stakeholder information, and futurology understanding, etc. A group of approaches may be applied here, such as PESTEL.

Selection is the process to determine the technology can be developed within the company. The process will be aligned with company’s strategy. The criteria in this phase are usually from different sources. Technology audit, SWOT analysis, and R&D portfolio analysis are the approaches usually can be used in this process.

It aims to find out the suitable method to acquire the technology and applied in the organization in the acquisition phase. There are several means to obtain the technology. Companies may choose to develop the technology by itself by R&D activities or organizational learning. They also may choose to collaborate with others as suppliers, or partners. Technology may also be purchased via brokers or licenses, etc. The acquisition means should be considered to be suitable with company strategy by considering the complexity of R&D, risk management, and financial limitation, etc.

The exploitation process is to convert the obtained technology into the practical production to gain the financial profit. The key point here is to apply the scientific technology into products can gain the maximum profit. Technology fusion is an important concept here to explore new function. The exploitation is the only process in this framework able to generate profit to cover all the technical investment.

The protection phase is about how to protect or maintain the knowledge and relative expertise in the manufacturing process. The traditional way to protect the technology is the legal method as licensing or patenting.

This process framework is a general model for technology management to be used in organizations. This process is not a defined model but comes from the process those companies apply the technology. It reflects the routine the management takes to manage technology within the company. The framework also associates all the relative activities which include innovation, product technology, production technology, etc. into the model. This framework also enables the company to align the technological considerations with business strategy. Every process in this framework needs a set of activities and criteria to implement. Thus this framework also enables the management to evaluate the whole processes and manage the relative dimensions. Furthermore, a process-based model can make the technology management process in company visible and transparent.

However, few companies may apply this model into their business. The process framework includes a variety of activities in different process and related to different function. But in many companies, the activities have been included in other business process as new product introduction, marketing strategy setting, etc. Thus there is a challenge for companies to apply this model entirely.

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