Industry's Future: Changing Patterns of Industrial Research

Article excerpt

Industry's Future: Changing Patterns of Industrial Research; Herbert I. Fusfeld; American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1994; 320 pp. (paper); $24.95.

This book examines the changes that have occurred, and that continue to occur, in industrial research, and the reasons for these changes. combining the data and analyses of research acquired from the author's association with the Center for Science and Technology Policy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with his perspective gained as an industrial research director and president of the Industrial Research Institute (1974-1975), the book seeks to spur actions that will preserve the strength of industrial research. Maintaining this strength, Fusfeld asserts, "requires an evaluation of the complex interactions among the many institutions that contribute to technical change and economic growth."

Part I, "How Industrial Research Works," presents a reference base on what industrial research is and does. A chapter on the essential nature of industrial research is followed by an examination of the procedures that actually took place in major technical advances and that illustrate how industrial research contributes to technical progress in the pursuit of economic growth.

Part II sketches the roots of industrial research and its rapid rise to maturity after World War II. Fusfeld observes that there are lessons for today in considering the conditions that influenced the growth of industrial research to its present 1

level.

Part III--the book's core--interprets factors that are actively influencing the procedures, the organizational structure, the direction, the magnitude, and even the very nature of industrial research today. …