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Table 2 The most frequent CTO’s responsibilities (Based on Adler, Ferdows, 1990)

From: Hidden Chief Technology Officers: the surfacing of a subterranean organizational role

Responsibility Description Frequency for CTO’s: according to Adler & Ferdows research Frequency for hidden CTO’s: according to the ‘Biomass’ project
Coordination among business units’ technological efforts to ensure synergy and economies of scale Avoiding duplication of effort in different business units und assisting in the transfer of technology from one unit to another. The common theme among these tasks was coordination between the business units and corporate research, across the business units, and across functional areas. This corresponds to what Porter calls “horizontal strategy”, in this case horizontal technology strategy. 60% 75%
Representation of technology within the top management team Being voice of technology in the top management team. The focus of these tasks was within pushing for a long-term view of technology, nutriting in fact technology development projects, and providing expert opinion on technological questions 52% 83%
Supervision of new technology development Directly supervised technology activities in a company. 28% 70%
Assessment of technological aspects of major strategic initiatives The assessment of the technological implications of proposed new acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and lines of business (also long-term trends in the relevant technologies) 28% 30%
Management of the external technology environment Dealt directly with organizations and individuals (regular agents) outside the corporation. Funded research and collect signals about important technical development. Second group: ensuring that corporation’s product and processes complied with relevant regulations, identifying trends in regulatory constrains, and orchestrating the corporation’s effort to influence the regulatory process. 20% 35%
  1. Source: Lohmueller, Petrikhin 2017, IPDMC24, Reykjavik Conference; based on the Danube Biomass project workshops protocols and interviews analysis