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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

versión On-line ISSN 2224-7890
versión impresa ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.19 no.1 Pretoria  2008


Sustainable development: A conceptual framework for the technology management field of knowledge and a departure for further research



A.C. BrentI, II; M.W. PretoriusI

IGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
IIResource Based Sustainable Development, Natural Resources and the Environment, CSIR, South Africa




The complexity of integrating the concept of sustainable development and the reality of technology or innovation management practices has been argued. The primary objective is to introduce a conceptual framework of technology management knowledge, and coupled tools and methodologies, as it relates to sustainable development. Furthermore, a criteria framework of sustainable development is established, and insight is provided into how sustainability aspects may be measured effectively as part of technology management practices. From a literature review, it is concluded that sustainability aspects are not addressed adequately in technology management theories and practices. The subsequent conceptual framework defines the context better in which sustainable technology management should occur. Emerging technology management practices related to sustainable development do emphasise the focus on technology strategy, selection and transfer, especially between developed and emerging economies. At the core of these issues lies technology assessment. As a departure point for further research it is therefore recommended to concentrate on the development of technology assessment methods that incorporate the dynamic interactions between nature and society that is researched in the emerging field of sustainability science.


Die kompleksiteit om die konsep van volhoubare ontwikkeling te integreer in praktyke van tegnologie- en innovasiebestuur word uitgelig. Die primêre doel is om 'n konseptuele raamwerk daar te stel om die verhouding van tegnologiebestuur tot volhoubare ontwikkeling te toon. Verder word 'n raamwerk van volhoubare ontwikkelingskriteria voorgestel, en insigte gegee van hoe sulke aspekte effektief gemeet kan word as deel van tegnologiebestuurpraktyke. 'n Literatuurstudie beaam dat dié aspekte onvoldoende in tegnologiebestuurteorie en -praktyke aangespreek word. Die raamwerk definieer die konteks beter waarin volhoubare tegnologiebestuur moet plaasvind. Nuwe tegnologiebestuurpraktyke relevant tot volhoubare ontwikke-ling, fokus op tegnologiestrategie, -seleksie en -oordrag. Die kern hiervan is tegnolo-gie-assessering. Dus word voorgestel dat verdere navorsing fokus op die ontwikkeling van tegnologieassesseringmetodes wat die dinamiese interaksie tussen die natuur en die samelewing insluit soos nagevors word in die nuwe veld van volhoubaarheid.



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