Control of R & D projects

  • P. A. F. White


Previous chapters have largely dealt with the problem of establishing the right research programmes for an R & D establishment-in relation to the scientific operations in the country as a whole and in relation to different types of organisation and objective. All these activities are very much the concern of research management but the next phase of activity of an R & D department is to carry out the R & D which has been decided upon and a successful role for the manager in this is more difficult to achieve. It has become a cliche that the last thing a director of research does is to direct research, and as with most paradoxical sayings it contains some truth but not the whole truth. For it is also true that in research and in development, more important than techniques of control, useful though they are, is the necessity of the scientific and technical quality of the work to be as high as possible and the director has a prime duty in this to establish appropriate standards. So far as possible, it is desirable that this should be done on a personal basis between the director and the research section leaders in discussing the research projects, but with large multi-layer research organisations, this quickly gets impossible at the higher levels so that the lower directing levels have a particularly difficult role to play in establishing the work standards, as well as linking with the control requirements of higher direction which can no longer be in close touch with the research work itself.


Effective Management Research Manager Research Department Professional Staff Project Objective 
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© P. A. F. White 1980

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  • P. A. F. White

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