Michael K. Badawy, professor, management of technology and strategic management, Pamplin College of Business, National Capital Region, was recently invited to present a keynote address at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Management of Innovation and Technology in Bangkok. Thailand.

Badawy was introduced to conference attendees by Secretary-General Sumate Yamnoon, Commission on Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Thailand.

During his presentation, Badawy addressed the question, ''Are We Losing the Battle in Managing Technology for Global Competitive Advantage?'' He focused on the critical importance of effective management of technology as the core equalizer among companies and countries and emphasized that global competitive strategies are technology-driven. ''Technological innovation has become the sole prerequisite in determining corporate profitability, productivity, and national and global competitiveness, said Badawy.

Discussing technology management practice, Badawy outlined several strategic malpractices and mistakes made by executive management that serve as barriers to effective technological innovation. He pointed out that many top managers in technology-based organizations do not have a sufficient understanding of the nature and orientation of management of technology. ''The problem is further complicated,'' said Badawy, '' by the inadequate vision and leadership of top managers who have a pre-dominant focus on the bottom line, quick results, and quick fixes.

''The net result is that top management has not accepted its role in managing technological innovation. Top management has no understanding of technology's formidable role in corporate strategy, survival, and growth, and continues to look at technology as a 'black box',''said Badawy. ''In effect, we are utilizing 20th century management tools and techniques to solve 21st century complex issues and problems.''

Badawy concluded his keynote address by presenting some action strategies, best practices, and lessons learned. He said it is necessary to understand that managing technology requires effective leadership in managing change. He emphasized the need for a paradigm shift in management thinking and practice by focusing on the fact that the primary problems of managing technology are not technical but, rather, they are human. ''This means that intellectual capital is the technology-based company's most valuable asset,'' said Badawy. ''It follows that the management of knowledge is the most crucial issue facing us in the 21st century.''

The IEEE conference brought together scholars, educators, industrialists, and entrepreneurs from around the world, including the United States, Canada, South America, South Africa, Australia, India, Japan, China, and other Asian countries. The goal of the conference was to help improve the understanding of research and development, and business applications in innovation and technology management across a global network of diverse platforms.

Badawy's work and interest in building technology management as a discipline and a field of study date back to the mid-1980s. His pioneering and ground breaking work on institutional building in technology management (MOT) and innovation are world- renowned. He is editor of The Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, housed in the Pamplin College of Business since its founding in 1989.


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