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Suggested Citation:"Creating an Academic Specialization." National Research Council. 1994. Learning From Japan: Improving Knowledge of Japanese Technology Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18453.
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Suggested Citation:"Creating an Academic Specialization." National Research Council. 1994. Learning From Japan: Improving Knowledge of Japanese Technology Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18453.
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Page 28
Suggested Citation:"Creating an Academic Specialization." National Research Council. 1994. Learning From Japan: Improving Knowledge of Japanese Technology Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18453.
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Page 29
Suggested Citation:"Creating an Academic Specialization." National Research Council. 1994. Learning From Japan: Improving Knowledge of Japanese Technology Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18453.
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Page 30

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Creating an Academic Specialization Creating an academic specialization in J/TIM is more difficult than progress to date might indicate. Although each of the schools funded by the AFOSR has combined training in language and culture with management and technical coursework, most of the emphasis has been on providing language training to engineering and business students and on placing them in some form of internship in Japan. Research under the program has primarily augmented preexisting research efforts, and findings have yet to feed into curriculum development to any great extent. Although each school has made progress in implementing the steps described in their proposals, and arguably the early foundations of an academic specialization have been laid, a great deal of work is needed to realize the creation of such a specialization and the emergence of a strong national program in J/TIM. Creating an academic specialization would provide much-needed focus for a wide range of activities, expertise, and resources now scattered among academic departments such as Asian Studies, Management, Engineering, and Humanities. Building a multidisciplinary J/TIM specialization would provide a coherent framework for research, curriculum development, faculty development, and continuing education and outreach activities. It would also provide a more formal structure for these multidisciplinary efforts, thereby helping to attract students and facilitating outreach to industry. The committee does not envision a degree-granting program, but some form of certification to recognize students who complete J/TIM training is desirable. Several of the current programs already offer such certificates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Creating an academic specialization in J/TIM will be difficult and time-consuming. Making the effort, however, is the best means to ensure that J/TIM becomes the multidisciplinary course of study that the subject matter requires. Much of the difficulty in creating a new academic specialization stems from the academic culture in U.S. universities. In each of the schools funded by AFOSR, more attention is needed to address the impact that this program will have on the university structure and infrastructure and on the faculty that will participate the J/TIM program. There are three primary areas of concern here: curriculum development, faculty development, and university organization. 27

28 Learning from Japan CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT A fundamental prerequisite of a multidisciplinary area of academic specialization such as J/TIM is a coherent curriculum. Such a curriculum would be open to engineering and business graduate and undergraduate students, resulting in a certificate of specialization or even a major degree in J/TIM. Course development may take some time, since much of it will depend on the research results produced by the overall program, not just each school individually. Even so, planning for the needed comprehensive curriculum should start now. The curriculum should contain the fundamental, core body of knowledge that the graduating student is expected to know, and which will differentiate the J/TIM student from the more traditional graduates in business and engineering. Examples of specifics that would be expected in such a curriculum would be technology management courses that expose students to Japanese accounting practices, research practices, personnel practices, university-government-industry relationships, contractual and legal practices (e.g., positions on intellectual property rights), and shop floor management practices, all presented with necessary and appropriate contrasts to the corresponding U.S. practices. Frequent use of case studies might be expected in the curricula developed by many of the universities, and the inclusion of reading lists and other reference materials would be essential. Although each university would emphasize its particular strengths, technical capabilities, and industry foci to tailor its curriculum to a certain extent, a core of essential information should be included in every program's curriculum. Other courses, developed in conjunction with faculty in the humanities, would include language training in technical Japanese and exposure to a broad cross-section of Japanese culture and social practices. Specific curricular considerations would be given to preparation for internships and other Japanese "practica" and to the off-campus outreach activities to industry and government laboratories. FACULTY DEVELOPMENT There are two aspects to the development and growth of J/TIM faculty. First, the development of a new academic area in Japanese technology management requires the concomitant development of a new expertise among the faculty, particularly in terms of the cross-linkages between business, engineering, and the liberal arts that this program envisions. The faculty is expected to do research in J/TIM, and publish that research in appropriate archival journals. In some cases, however, the "appropriate archival journal" might not be obvious because of the novelty and interdisciplinarity of the research. It is essential, therefore, that special attention be given to ensure publication of research into technology management issues. Second, it is also essential that university administrators recognize these difficulties in characterizing their faculty, particularly in the context of merits, promotions, and tenure. Successful program faculty probably cannot be placed in the standard pigeon holes of electrical engineering, computer science, business, law, linguistics, history, etc., all of which might be found in the program. Furthermore, it is likely that successful program faculty will

Creating an Academic Specialization 29 publish articles that are multiply authored, with other authors coming from other fields (hence other departments). This can lead to serious administrative difficulties in evaluating performance, both from the point of view of the quality of the work done, and the identity and background of the evaluators themselves. Typically, academic personnel committees and administrators have little patience with the difficult job of sorting out who did what, and assigning appropriate credit, yet this is essential if J/TIM programs are to gain academic credibility in the university community. This is a well-known problem in other multidisciplinary centers, such as the engineering research centers and science and technology centers funded by the National Science Foundation, but it has been dealt with effectively in most of those centers. Attention needs to be paid to both of these issues by the university faculty from the very beginning of their activities, or in the case of potential new programs, at the preproposal stage. Otherwise, the programs will likely be only tangential to the universities' core activities in engineering and business. UNIVERSITY ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES A number of organizational issues need to be addressed by the universities funded to develop J/TIM programs. Some of these have been discussed above, such as the thorny problem of merits and promotion of faculty engaged in interdisciplinary activities. Other issues include the following: • Lines of communication and responsibility. To whom does the program director report? If it is a dean or department head, the program is embedded in, or formally located in, one of the colleges or departments. This might hinder the development of the desired multidisciplinary nature of the center. Various alternatives have been developed for other multidisciplinary programs, which should be examined for their applicability to J/TIM programs. • Existence of suitable infrastructure. Are the location and amount of administrative space for the program, which houses its faculty director, administrative officer, receptionist, clerk, bookkeeper, etc., satisfactory for its operation? These questions again raise issues concerning university administrative authority over the program. • Student recruitment. How and where does the program recruit its students? Are there unresolved issues regarding funding of these students, payment of indirect costs, etc.? • Program elements. Does the existence of program elements such as internships and off-campus outreach cause conflict with existing university education abroad or extension services? • Academic specialization. Are there serious university obstacles to the development of a new area of academic inquiry, and more specifically, to the generation of approval for certificate or degree-emphasis programs?

30 Learning from Japan SUMMARY Integrating multidisciplinary approaches into a coherent program of Japanese industry and technology management training is a major challenge, particularly since it is a field that is under development. Faculty from various departments and other programs must be brought together, and a diverse body of student participants recruited, including undergraduate and graduate students, post doctoral research fellows (who may be recruited specifically to the program) practicing science and engineering, and business professionals who need university extension-type courses. New curricula must be generated, tailored to the needs of both faculty and a diverse group of students. And all the challenges of fitting such a program into the typical university structure must be faced. These challenges, generally related to how any new academic initiative gets implemented in universities, have not been faced in the J/TIM programs of the schools funded to date.1 As noted in Chapter 2, curriculum development so far has been spotty, and only a few of the schools offer a certificate or concentration in J/TIM as part of an engineering or business master's degree. If a viable academic specialization is to emerge from the AFOSR programs, curriculum and faculty development and organizational issues of how J/TIM fits in the university structure must be addressed directly. Otherwise, these programs are likely to continue to be primarily Japanese language training for engineering and management students and intern placement activities, an outcome that falls short of the objectives of the Congress in creating the program. 1 ll is worth noting that Berkeley has been struggling with many of these issues in its efforts to create a strong Management of Technology Program. MOT is also a multidisciplinary field, with elements of engineering and management but requiring strong synthesis of the two. It, therefore, does not fit neatly into the typical university structure.

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The U.S.-Japan Industry and Technology Management Training Program provides the opportunity for U.S. academics to broaden and deepen their understanding of the multifaceted sources of Japanese industrial success and to convey that understanding to practitioners in U.S. industry and government laboratories. After reviewing the program's progress, Learning From Japan: Improving Knowledge of Japanese Technology Management Practices concludes that a multidisciplinary approach to research, education, and training must be used, and an aggressive effort must be made to disseminate the results to industry. Building a multidisciplinary specialization would provide a framework for research, publications, curriculum development, and continuing education activities. Yet, making this specialization as relevant and useful as possible would require input from industry, and industry must, in turn, be convinced of the value of the program. Learning From Japan recommends that achieving these twin goals--creating a strong academic specialization and ensuring its relevance to the needs of U.S. industry--should guide the future management of the program.

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