Technological Management beyond Policies
Technological Management beyond Policies
  • Reporter Park Tae-yoon
  • 승인 2012.12.05 18:29
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The Postech Times met Prof-essor Jae-Yong CHOUNG of the De-partment of Management Science in KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
<Editor's Comment>


What are differences of manage-ment and policies of technologies between advanced countries and Korea?

“Advanced countries” doesn’t refer to countries that have mostly companies in which all concepts about management and policies of technologies are explained. However, they bring about more technological innovation in various reciprocal conditions than Korea. Based on sound basic researches, they train top-level human resources and are ready to develop new technology and utilize their knowledge. Companies strengthen the competitiveness by focusing on production of high value and creative products in management of technologies. Each country shores up a foundation and finds strategic technical fields to develop new paradigms. However, Korea managed technology and carried out technological policies within ‘Catch-up’ framework from the 1960s to the 1990s. As Korea focused on catching up with technology, they aimed at three strategies: imitation, application, and improvement. For these, Korean promoted major companies that established production networks to imitate and absorb technology.

Korea has achieved rapid economic growth over the last quarter century. However, the direction of the government’s management and policies was over-concentrated on the econo-mic growth. What do you think about that?

“Catch-up” technological system that was Korean strategy to acquire advanced technologies focused on business and industry. This system and social institution coevolved to bring about economic growth and then to generate the middle class, which became the foundation of society. Centralist decision of policies and rigid hierarchy of company enabled intensive investment on potential industrial field. In other words, Korea could acquire advanced technologies by aiming at catching technology of advanced countries and achieve rapid growth in manufacturing sector by government support to companies. This was a suitable way to develop Korea at that time. In early days, Korea concentrated on acquiring advanced technologies but Korea has accumulated and applied advanced technology surprisingly quickly. From now on, the role of the government will be to make Korea a network-centric country to be a coordinator among various countries and a facilitator that supports developing countries.

What are the problems and solutions in managing technology?

Technological management must focus on efficiency of production. In addition, implementation has not been integrated but separated in planning, research and development, and commercialization. As a result, R&D overlooked the needs of market because R&D was blinded by outcome. There was a lag between R&D and commercialization
Therefore, government did not analyze selected companies in depth for technology transfer. There are some solutions to overcome these problems. First, collective intelligent management, including knowledge and application of principles of Humanities and Social Sciences, is needed to solve problems of these days because simple solutions are uncertain. Second, we plan to commercialize technology before research study is completed. Lastly, we need to foster technological management engineers who have capability to analyze future changes and to coalesce creative ideas.

How can we develop mana- gement and policies of techno-logies to keep up with the times?

Concepts of managing technology are that companies and countries gain competitive advantages over rivals, encourage technician to invent and bring about innovations in techniques, and commercialize products. From now on, Korean has to notice that there are not precursors anymore and then take their own direction. In other words, the Korean innovative model should be creative beyond reverse engineering. The Korean government must support government-contributed research institutes and companies to be engrossed in innovation. In addition, the government must require creative leadership and encourage leaders to challenge established procedures. Companies must strive to develop technology autonomously. To be concrete, technological management and policies need to facilitate promising futuristic fundamental technology beyond current paradigms. Also, it is important to provide institutional strategy and technology planning.