The transfer of technology
There have been a number of studies which have attempted to identify factors affecting successful technology transfer. However, empirical studies of technology transfer, at the level of the user, have been a much neglected area of research despite numerous promptings. Too much attention has been paid to single factor explanations of success, although it is widely accepted that success is a multi-faceted phenomenon. There is also an absence of a suitable definition of success which reflects its multi-dimensional character. This research, therefore, attempts to develop a suitable multi-faceted measure for success and an identification of factors affecting success in the study of the user uptake phase of a technology transfer process; namely the introduction of cook chill technology into catering operations in the UK. A survey of 80 cook chill operations in the UK was undertaken and detailed information was collected from each. A multi-faceted measure of success was developed by using 10 carefully selected success criteria. Each cook chill operation in the sample was allocated a 'score' for each success factor. This process culminated in the formation of a 'success table' of cook chill operations in the sample which enabled the identification of those units which were the most successful and those which were the least successful throughout the technology transfer process. There were numerous differences between the activities of the successful group and those of the unsuccessful group throughout the initiation, implementation and assessment phases of the technology transfer process. The findings of this research, therefore support the notion of success as being multi-faceted. Some of the major factors seen to affect success included: management stability, the extent, quality and efficiency of precook chill development work, communication and involvement with employees and appropriate training, adherence to the technical requirements of the system and a research and development orientation. The overriding finding, however, was the tendency shown by the managers in the successful group to be proactive and those in the unsuccessful group to be reactive.