TOWARD A MULTI-STAGE INFORMATION CONVERSION MODEL OF THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.
Management Science Research rept.,
CARNEGIE INST OF TECH PITTSBURGH PA GRADUATE SCHOOL OF INDUSTRIAL ADMINISTRATION
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Research and development activities in a business firm or government laboratory are portrayed as a multi-stage information generation and conversion process. A basic research phase generates opportunities, in the form of findings in a set of scientific disciplines, which are available for subsequent exploitation. It is assumed that increments to information in a subject area are stochastic, proportional to the amount of knowledge which already exists in the area, and have values which are randomly distributed. An exploratory development phase is viewed as a process of selecting a subset of alternative research opportunities, improving each opportunity in the direction of its applications, estimating the value of the improved opportunity and using these estimates to choose the exploratory development results to be implemented in engineering development. The engineering development phase makes the value of exploratory results realizable without changing value or risk. Engineering development costs are assumed to increase as value increases. If exploratory development is not successful, additional costs in engineering development must be incurred to bring the design up to a minimum desirable level. The model is intended as a step toward formulating and analyzing problems in management planning and control of the several interrelated stages of the research and development process. Author