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Comparative Technology Transfer and Society 1.2 (2003) vii-viii

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In This Issue

This second issue, like the first in April and the third in December 2003, is designed to demonstrate the range of topics and the breadth and depth of scholarly interest subsumed under the headings of Technology Transfer and Diffusion of Technology. These articles suggest the kinds of questions the journal hopes to address, as well as the fields of scholarship from which we intend to draw articles, essays, and readers. These initial issues will be especially eclectic and wide ranging, mixing research findings with essays describing research agendas or approaches to technology transfer by scholars in various disciplines. Even then, they will still not cover the entire range of possibilities for the journal. In this issue, we range widely across time and space, with articles focused on the interaction between technology and public policy and administration from a U.S. perspective, voluntary compliance with environmental standards by U.S. corporations, and comparative historical examples: the transfer of industrial technology to Mexico and the diffusion of firearms technology in southern Africa.

Each issue in the first volume will begin with a contribution from one of the Editors-in-Chief, offering their thoughts on the study of technology transfer and diffusion, and a sense of the journal's possibilities. The inaugural editor's essay in the first issue (written by Editor-in-Chief Bruce Seely) outlined general historical trends in the study and practice of technology transfer, across a range of disciplines. The editor's essay in this second issue (Technology Transfer and the Future of Public Administration: An Agenda for Study and Practice, by Editor-in-Chief Donald E. Klingner) views technology transfer as not only a mechanism of corporate economic development, but also as a tool of national science and technology policy. It describes the relationship between public administration and technology transfer as symbiosis, in that elected officials and administrators use public policies and institutions to encourage national development in science and technology, and recognize that technological developments have public policy implications for society as a whole. This introductory essay is also normative, in two senses. Methodologically, it advocates the development of a reciprocal, comparative, and international approach to technology transfer as a means for enriching U.S. public administration. Substantively, it proposes an agenda of issues that reciprocal technology transfer might help public administration scholars and practitioners address globally, clustered around five themes: governance, democratization, societal equity, administrative capacity, and ethics.

Environmental compliance is a contentious issue that at least traditionally (in the United States) has been framed as a win-lose conflict between economic growth and corporate profitability on the one hand, and environmental protection on the other. John Milliman and John Grosskopf present research findings that support a more collaborative approach through which companies and regulatory agencies work out mutually beneficial environmental agreements (An Assessment of the Exchange of New Technology between Environmental Agencies and Business with the Pronoia Technology Transfer Framework). In their view, voluntary compliance is not only effective, but also more positive in its impact on both organizations. But as the "Notes from the Field" by Michael Mutnan that accompany this article indicate, the old adversarial roles and behaviors persist. Just as corporate environmental compliance specialists decry "bureaucratic red tape," so public agency regulators caution against allowing foxes to guard the henhouse.

Technology transfer has always been viewed ambivalently in developing countries. Although the initial impetus for technology transfer is the expectation of benefits (such as profit or political influence) for the donor country, impacts on the recipient country are often less predictable and more ambivalent. Two historical case studies, both describing the transfer of Western technologies to developing countries a century ago, broaden contemporary understanding of this phenomenon. Approaches to Technology Transfer in History and the Case of Nineteenth-Century Mexico, by Edward Beatty, shows how technology transfer has continued [End Page vii] to play a central role in both international economics and national development policy by using the introduction of industrial technologies in Mexico (1870-1911) as a case study. During this period, new technologies...


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