Technology Entrepreneurship: Taking Innovation to the Marketplace

Thomas N. Duening, Robert D. Hisrich and Michael A. Lechter, Academic Press, 2014, 394 pp., $64.95 (second edition, book).

This reference book explores entrepreneurial ventures for technological products and services.

Although it does not deal directly with quality, it is a resource for those delivering quality to the marketplace. The book is useful in areas beyond creating and managing technology services and products. The focus of the book is on the how, why and continuous improvement of innovative business processes.

Explored in detail is information on how an entrepreneurial venture starts, operates and exits profitable. The book covers actions needed for launching a successful technology company, use of entrepreneurial methods, lean startup, business plan development, market development, managing intellectual property, raising capital, managing people and marketing.

In this book quality is implied. The insights offered and programs explored involve doing, delivering and confirming quality as a part of a marketing and business plan. The philosophy of doing it right, delivering results and meeting the desires and needs of customers is scattered throughout the book.

The section on protecting intellectual property is informative and useful to most types of enterprises. The book features a section that explores legal structures and equity management that is applicable to all businesses.

The book’s format is excellent. It serves as a reference book or textbook due to the excellent organization and flow. The table of contents and index are detailed—directing readers to specifics narrative as well as references to key persons in the field of entrepreneurship and technology. The book serves as a great guide for engineers and scientists aspiring to be entrepreneurs.

Gerald R. Brong
Ellensburg, WA

Metric Dashboards for Operations and Supply Chain Excellence

Jaideep Motwani and Rob Ptacek, Business Expert Press, 2013, 200 pp., $59.95 (book).

This short book illustrates the reasons and concepts of visual control and management. It does an excellent job of introducing and explaining scorecards and dashboards for a full range of organizations. While the book focuses on operations and supply chain management, it applies to any industry.

Scorecards are where you keep score; while dashboards are scorecards where data are graphically displayed so historical trends can be seen and analyzed easily. To be useful, both must be clear and understandable, reflect vital performance indicators, be clearly connected to the process and be action and improvement-focused. Setting up and using scorecards and dashboards should follow seven steps: focus, gather data, prioritize, analyze, action, report and benchmark.

Not every improvement tool will apply to every organization and situation. Improvement tool selection and application are more important than using every tool. Do not randomly apply as many tools as possible, but use a focused and systematic approach to improvement. This book will help you find your path.

Each chapter has a discussion and thought-provoking questions. For more study, there is a good reference bibliography and an index for finding particular topics. Examples of metrics and visual management in different industries are given from everyday life. This makes it easy for the reader to see the connections. A checklist to start maximizing resources through a systematic approach to leadership also is provided.

Marc A. Feldman

Six Sigma Green Belt, Round 2: Making Your Next Project Better Than the Last One

Tracy L. Owens, 2011, ASQ Quality Press, 160 pp. $35 member, $58 list (book and CD-ROM)

This book is written specifically for Six Sigma Green Belts (GB) starting a second project and is a one-stop shop for anyone interested in applying Six Sigma. The book is organized in six parts, 10 chapters and follows the traditional define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) taxonomy.

The book’s conclusion is a chapter on overall business process management. Each chapter describes and discusses the tools you would typically use during each DMAIC phase. The author proposes a 90-day timeline to complete most GB projects incorporating five team meetings.

The book does not provide in-depth detail on any one subject or tool and lacks technical support. It does however provide a usable description of how and when to use each tool along with helpful hints and caveats. The accompanying CD-ROM provides documents and MS Excel worksheets with macros for statistical analysis.

As a resource for novice GB the book meets its goal. If you need significant depth of knowledge or technical instruction however you will require additional resources. At the end of the Six Sigma day, Owens has written a helpful book for novice GBs.

James Kotterman
Plymouth, MI

The Social Development of Leadership and Knowledge: A Reflexive Inquiry Into Research and Practice

Robert Warwick and Douglas Board, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 240 pp., $105 list (book).

In this book, the authors invite practitioners in business and academia to consider afresh the relationships at work between leadership and knowledge. They identify four sets of relationships: practitioner researcher, researcher practitioner, knowledge about leadership and leadership in knowledge creation.

This complexity is a way to understand how people interact with one another within organizations.

The book’s structure is an inquiry—a journey with the authors as they offer a differing approach to research practice in organizations; one that makes more connections and increases relevance between the management practitioner and researcher.

They refer to this approach as immersed reflexivity. This aims to provide a way of remaining attentive to experience as we engage with methods, frameworks and templates and one another. The practical aspects of immersed reflexivity are:

  • Developing and working with one´s question.
  • Writing narrative.
  • Working with that narrative in a group for an extended period of time.
  • Facilitation needed by the inquiring group.
  • Repercussions in the workplace, validity and ethics.
  • New ways of reading and writing.
  • Making a doctoral process manageable.

This book is a rich, deep discussion of leadership, knowledge and their connections. It offers a journey of reflection for leaders that find other leadership books not resembling their experience. For those engaged in doctorate or post-doctoral research in business and management—especially using qualitative research—this is a key text for considering method.

Denis Leonard
Bozeman, MT

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