Date of Award

Summer 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Rochelle K. Young

Committee Member

Derya A. Jacobs

Committee Member

Charles B. Keating

Committee Member

Laurence D. Richards


There is increased awareness in the organizational and management literature that participation can make contributions in technology development. One of the problems in developing biotechnology in Thailand is that only a small portion of publicly funded research and development projects directly result in commercial success. Among the reasons cited (TDRI 1992a) is a lack of collaboration between various stakeholders; therefore, an effective technology policy to support their participation is needed. This research explores current participation processes in biotechnology research and development projects in Thailand in which there were different perspectives among various stakeholders. The quantitative and qualitative methodologies developed here address two research questions: (1) How is participation linked to the success of R& D project development? and (2) How do or might various stakeholders in the R&D process participate?

This research also adopted the case study approach as an alternative to research design. Two projects with success and failure evaluated by their commercial results were methods of data gathering, i.e., interview, document review, and questionnaire were employed. Pattern analysis and explanation building were used to analyze the results.

The results indicate conflicts of interest among stakeholders in research and development. Differences of perspectives on goals and outcomes among the projects' stakeholders are found in both projects, while their patterns of participation do not differ considerably. Participation in research and development teams was developed; however, it was not directed to the commercialization of the research effort. Other stakeholders, i.e., prospective users, and projects' reviewers though responsible for their tasks, did not support commercialization. In addition, the funding agency limited its role in facilitating the participation forwarded to commercialization of the technologies.

This research suggests that participation should take part through all linkages contributing in R&D development. “Dialogue” as proposed by the literature (Lee 1996, Young 1996, and Ellinor and Gerard 1998) acts to enhance participation is a proper mechanism here since it has a power to build shared meaning, partnership, ownership, and leadership among participants. Future research is suggested to explore participation processes in other settings to exhibit the importance of participation and extend the generalizability of this research.