The thesis is divided into four major sections. In Section 2 - Industry Background Information, three industry sectors are examined to provide a business description of their sector activities and competitive environment. The source of data for this background section is primarily individual company SEC filings with emphasis on their 10K reports. Section 3 - Industry Trends documents results of a ten-year examination of industry trends regarding major
business environment issues and industry strategy. For this examination, additional SEC filings of the seven representative companies of Section 2 were further studied. Section 4 - Industry Practices documents the results of industry interviews which were performed to sample the current industry practices regarding the integration of technology strategy or planning with business planning. The source of data for this section was the author’s personal notes taken during the industry interviews.
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Many high technology US manufacturing industries, and especially the aerospace industry are facing unparalleled world-wide competition in a new, faster-paced, cost-conscious, global
marketplace. The process of new technology development, and its earliest introduction into product production programs, is undergoing major changes in almost all US firms as they
restructure for this new global business environment. These forces of change were studied relative to their impact on how technology planning is accomplished and its interaction with company business plans. Manufacturing industries were selected and historically reviewed. An industry background was created to list major business and strategy trends known to be occurring. Independently, selective industry interviews were performed to collect complementary data on current practices and changes ongoing. A literature survey was performed to summarize major academic theories regarding planning for needed technology development, and its required interaction with firm strategic (business) planning. Results were assessed relative to the adequacy of current practices to the business environment of the mid-1990’s, and the changing role of technology in industry strategy.