South African Journal of Industrial Engineering
On-line version ISSN 2224-7890
Print version ISSN 1012-277X
VAN WYK, R.J.. Technology-conversant management education: Introducing a new discipline. S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. [online]. 2014, vol.25, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2224-7890.
In the first quarter of 2013, the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch launched a new academic course, Strategic Technology Analysis (STA), as an elective in its M.Sc. in Engineering Management and M.Eng. Industrial Engineering degrees. STA views technology as a knowledge area in its own right, focuses on the inherent characteristics of technology, and explores its natural order. The purpose was to ascertain whether a course of this nature, which offered the outline for a new academic discipline, would be of benefit to a technology-conversant management programme. The course was well-received. It encouraged a greater awareness of technological positioning - i.e., aligning overall corporate strategy with new opportunities across the entire technological frontier. This article describes the background to this initiative, the history of STA, its inherent structure, and its role in professional practice. It then looks ahead at the possible dissemination of this knowledge into different settings where technology-conversant management is taught.