Implementation of Computer and Microprocessor Based Control Systems

  • John C. Lowe

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This research examines the problem of introducing a new technology (microcomputers) into the manufacturing process of a small company. In particular it examines the difficulties that can arise when using external consultants to bring about the introduction.

    Two detailed case studies form the basis for the research. The first was monitored and brought to a successful conclusion after
    fifteen months. Following analysis, a list of twelve factors associated with success was produced. The second case study was then planned taking these factors into account and was also brought to a successful conclusion. Throughout the case studies, the researcher was involved as an engineer and because of this, very detailed accounts of the projects are presented. This represents
    an uncommon approach to innovation research where the norm is to carry out research, using interview techniques, several years
    after the innovation has been completed. It is suggested that the action research approach to innovation research produces both
    useful results and practical achievements in an area where success is normally limited.

    It was found that most, if not all, of the problems identified could be overcome by the addition of one individual. This individual had to be familiar with the new technology and based within the small company. Further examination showed that his major role was the communication of technical information. The presence of key individuals or 'champions' in the innovation process has been noted in previous innovation research. The research reported here describes in detail one important role of the champion figure and its relevance to innovation success.

    Because the research has a practical bias, it is hoped that the findings will be of interest to the management of small companies
    as well as to innovation researchers.
    Date of AwardSept 1982
    Original languageEnglish


    • management of innovation
    • small company
    • implementation
    • action research

    Cite this