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Dual-use technology transfer between defence and non-defence markets

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Title: Dual-use technology transfer between defence and non-defence markets
Authors: Harris, Liam Jon Kieran
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: Defence procurement easily matches and exceeds virtually any other form of technology-intensive procurements by the government. Additionally, defence procurement often focuses on technologically advanced, engineering-intensive equipment. This represents a significant potential for technological innovation and subsequent diffusion of this innovation throughout the economy. The defence industry has often been considered insular and idiosyncratic, meeting the demands of a bureaucratic, central buyer, creating firms unable to compete in dynamic commercial markets, and posing a barrier for innovative firms to enter. This study poses the question: When is technology likely to transfer into or out of the defence sector? Which organisational-level factors facilitate or hinder the likelihood and success of such technology transfer? By combining organisational identity, capabilities and institutional theories, this thesis pursues a novel approach to the problem, and we find that organisational identity moderates the capability-performance relationship – in essence, a strong organisational identity is negatively associated with the likelihood that a firm will deploy its resources in unfamiliar markets, or to exploit technologies present in them. The defence industry provides a salient context for the study of this phenomenon. This thesis presents a current overview of the UK defence sector, by reviewing the existing literature in the field and updating it with consideration to the significant changes which the industry has faced. This includes a review of the previous research on firm-level factors which influence the transfer of technology into and out of the sector. An organisational identity theory of capability deployment is then developed, and tested with a combination of expert interviews and quantitative analysis of the results of a survey of firms in the UK defence sector. The resulting analysis and discussion contribute to the understanding of the UK defence sector in the modern world, and the potential barriers to fully exploit technology developed in the defence context, and to the factors which may influence the UK armed forces’ access to technologies from non-traditional sources. Further, the recognition that institutional forces can influence organisational identity and subsequently affect the deployment of capabilities, I contribute to the management literature by suggesting a link between the rarely connected literatures on organisational identity and capabilities.
Content Version: Imperial Users Only
Issue Date: Dec-2012
Date Awarded: Dec-2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/18938
DOI: https://doi.org/10.25560/18938
Supervisor: Autio, Erkko
Criscuolo, Paola
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
QinetiQ (Firm)
Department: Imperial College Business School
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School PhD theses

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