Methods for Evaluating the Return on R&D Investments

  • Albert N. Link


Research and development (R&D) in one of the most important investments that a technology-based organization makes. R&D is a fundamental input into the innovation process, and innovation is an important factor that influences productivity, productivity growth, and competitiveness. This causal relationship may seem obvious for the private sector firms, but it also applies to R&D-dependent public organizations that seek to improve their performance and that bestow positive externalities on the private sector.


Productivity Growth Research Management Total Factor Productivity Growth Vice President Engineer Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, T.J., Managing the Flow of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, F.M. (ed.), Scientific Productivity, London: Cambridge University Press and Unesco, 1979.Google Scholar
  3. Ansoff, H.I., “Evaluation of Applied RandD in a Firm,” in Technological Planning at the Corporate Level, J.R. Bright (ed.), Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964.Google Scholar
  4. Augood, D., “A Review of RandD Evaluation Methods,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management EM-20 (4), November 1973, 114–120.Google Scholar
  5. Azumi, K. and F. Hull, “Inventive Payoff from RandD in Japanese Industry: Convergence with the West,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 37 (1), February 1990, 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baker, N.R. and J.R. Freeland, “Recent Advanced in RandD Benefit Measurement and Project Selection Methods,” Management Science (21) 10, June 1975, 1164 1175.Google Scholar
  7. Bard, J.F., R. Balachandra, and P.E. Kaufmann, “An Incentive Approach to RandD Project Selection and Termination,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 35 (3), August 1988, 139–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brockhoff, K., “A Simulation Model of RandD Budgeting,” R&D Management 19 (3), July 1989, 265–275.Google Scholar
  9. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Multifactor Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing and in 20 Manufacturing Industries, 1949–1986,” mimeo, 1989.Google Scholar
  10. Cetron, M.J., J. Martins, and L. Roepoke, “The Selection of RandD Program Content–Survey of Quantitative Methods,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management EM14 (1), March 1967, 4–13.Google Scholar
  11. Charles River Associates, “Productivity Impacts of RandD Laboratories: The National Bureau of Standards’ Semiconductor Program,” Final Report, May 1981.Google Scholar
  12. Collier, D.W., “Measuring the Performance of RandD Departments,” Research Management, March 1977.Google Scholar
  13. Danila, N., “Strategic Evaluation and Selection of RandD Projects,” R&D Management 19 (1), January 1989, 47–62.Google Scholar
  14. Edge, G., “Investment in Technology,” in Technology and Management, Ray Wild (ed.), New York: Nichols Publishing Company, 1990.Google Scholar
  15. Foster, R.N., L.H. Linden, R.L. Whiteley, and A.M. Kantrow, “Improving the Return on RandD - I,” Research Management, January/February 1985.Google Scholar
  16. Gold, B., “Some Key Problems in Evaluating RandD Performance,” Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, v. 6, 1989: 59–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hall, D.L. and A. Nauda, “An Interactive Approach for Selecting IRandD Projects,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 37 (2), May 1990, 126–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harvard Business School, “General Foods – Productivity Management Program,” Harvard Business School case 9–682–072, 1982.Google Scholar
  19. Hodge, M.H., “Rate Your Company’s Research Productivity,” Harvard Business Review 41 (6), November/December 1963, 109–122.Google Scholar
  20. Kline, S.J. and N. Rosenberg, “An Overview of Innovation,” in The Positive Sum Strategy: Harnessing Technology for Economic Growth, Ralph Landau and Nathan Rosenberg (eds.), Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1986.Google Scholar
  21. Kuwahara, Y. and Y. Takeda, “A Managerial Approach to Research and Development Cost-Effectiveness Evaluation,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 37 (2), May 1990, 134–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Leyden, D.P. and A.N. Link, Government’s Role in Innovation, Norwell, Mass.: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Link, A.N., Technological Change and Productivity Growth, London: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1987.Google Scholar
  24. Link, A.N., “Economic Impacts of NIST-Supported Standards on the U.S. Optical Fiber Industry: 1981-Present,” Report prepared for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1992a.Google Scholar
  25. Link, A.N., “Economic Impacts on the U.S. Semiconductor Industry of NIST Research in Electromigration,” Report prepared for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1992b.Google Scholar
  26. Link, A.N., “Estimates of the Economic Impact of NIST Research in Electromagnetic Compatability/Interference Metrology,” Report prepared for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1992c.Google Scholar
  27. Link, A.N. and L.L. Bauer, Cooperative Research in U.S. Manufacturing: Assessing Policy Initiatives and Corporate Strategies, Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1989.Google Scholar
  28. Link, A.N. and B. Bozeman, “Innovation in Small-Sized Firms,” Small Business Economics, September 1991, 179–184.Google Scholar
  29. Link, A.N. and J. Rees, “Firm Size, University-Based Research, and the Returns to RandD,” Small Business Economics, April 1990, 25–32.Google Scholar
  30. Link, A.N. and G. Tassey, Strategies for Technology-Based Competition: Meeting the New Global Challenge, Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1989.Google Scholar
  31. Lipetz, B., The Measurement of Efficiency of Scientific Research, Carlisle, Mass.: Intermedia, Inc., 1965.Google Scholar
  32. Mansfield, E., et al., “Social and Private Rates of Return from Industrial Innovations,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1977, 221–240.Google Scholar
  33. Olsen, F., “The Control of Research Funds,” in Coordinating, Control and Financing of Industrial Research, A.H. Rubenstein (ed.), New York: Kings Crown Press, 1955.Google Scholar
  34. Pappas, R.A. and D.S. Remer, “Measuring RandD Productivity,” Research Management, May/June 1985.Google Scholar
  35. Patterson, W., “Evaluating RandD Performance at Alcoa Laboratories,” Research Management, March/April 1983, 23–27.Google Scholar
  36. Pearson, A.W., “The Management of Research and Development,” in Technology and Management, Ray Wild (ed.), New York: Nichols Publishing Company, 1990.Google Scholar
  37. Porter, J.G., Jr., “Post Audits–An Aid to Research Planning,” Research Management 21 (1), January 1978, 28–30.Google Scholar
  38. Ranftl, R.M., “Improving RandD Productivity - A Study Program and Its Applications,” Research Management, January 1977.Google Scholar
  39. Ringuest, J.L. and S.B. Graves, “The Linear RandD Project Selection Problem: An Alternative to Net Present Value,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 37 (2), May 1990, 143–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rubenstein, A.H. and E. Geisler, “The Use of Indicators and Measures of the RandD Process in Evaluating Science and Technology Programs,” in Government Innovation Policy, David Roessner (ed.), New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  41. Rubenstein, A.H. and E. Geisler, “Evaluating the Outputs and Impacts of RandD/Innovation,” International Journal of Technology Management, 1991: 181–204.Google Scholar
  42. Ruch, W.A., “Measuring Knowledge Worker Productivity,” Paper presented at the Conference on Productivity Research, American Productivity Center, April 20–24, 1980.Google Scholar
  43. Schainblatt, A.H., “How Companies Measure the Productivity of Engineers and Scientists,” Research Management, May 1982.Google Scholar
  44. Schainblatt, A.H., “Measuring the Productivity of Scientists and Engineers in RandD: A State of the Practice Review,” The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., May 1981.Google Scholar
  45. Souder, W.A., “A System for Using RandD Project Evaluation Methods,” Research Management, September 1978, 29–37.Google Scholar
  46. Souder, W.A., Managing New Product Innovation, Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1986.Google Scholar
  47. Souder, W.A. and T. Mandakovic, “RandD Project Selection Models,” Research Management 29 (4), July/August 1986, 36–42.Google Scholar
  48. Stahl, M.J. and J.A. Steger, “Measuring Innovation and Productivity–A Peer Rating Approach,” Research Management 20 (1), January, 1977, 35–38.Google Scholar
  49. Tauss, K.H., “A Pragmatic Approach to Evaluating RandD Programs,” Research Management, September 1975, 13–15.Google Scholar
  50. Tassey, G., “The Functions of Technology Infrastructure in a Competitive Economy,” Research Policy 20, 1991, 345–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tewksbury, J.G., et al., “Measuring the Societal Benefits of Innovation,” Science 209 (8), August 1980, 658–662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Thor, C.G., “Productivity Program Development and Measurement in a Technical Group,” Proceedings on the Conference on Improving the Productivity of Technical Resources, Chicago: IIT Manufacturing Center, 1980.Google Scholar
  53. Vepsalainen, A.P.J. and G.L. Lauro, “Analysis of RandD Portfolio Strategies for Contract Competition,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 35 (3), August 1988, 181–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zink, D.A., “Monitoring the Adequacy of the Advancement and Productivity of Engineers and Construction Manpower,” 1980 Transactions of the American Association of Cost Engineers, Morgantown, W.Va.: American Association of Cost Engineers, 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert N. Link
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at GreensboroUSA

Personalised recommendations