3.3 Team Organization, Management, and Communications

Technology forecasting and the communication of its results occur both between organizations and within them. The management of twenty-first-century organizations increasingly involves alliances and collaboration throughout the supply chains of most industries. This section focuses on considerations for adapting a technology forecast to a specific organization. Later in the book (Chapter 11), the use of technology forecasting to coordinate activities between related organizations and stakeholders is discussed.

Individuals are confronted by technical change and may benefit from information about the future of technology. However, for some organizations this information is crucial to their prosperity, even to their survival. These organizations often are expressly designed to manage large technical projects. Organizational design involves sharing and hiding information, as well as allocation and delegation of tasks. Some organizational designs are better than others for forecasting technology futures and using the information those forecasts produce.

Mintzberg (1980) argued that the design of organizations is contingent on several factors, including the power of different parts of the organization, the organizational environment, and the coordination mechanisms it uses. Five basic organizational structures emerge from Mintzberg's analysis. Technology forecasters who are aware of these structures can adapt the design and the communication ...

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