Philips Nat.Lab. Introduction 1) The Research Department in Context, 2) The Birth of Industrial Research Laboratories, 3) Philips Nat.Lab.’s Knowledge Management Discussion
The Philips Company The start of Philips in Eindhoven 1891
The Philips Company The expansion and diversification in the 1900 - 1920
The Philips Company Philips Idezet Radio Tube
The Philips Company Radio as a commercial product – 1927
The Industrial Research Laboratory The historical context of scientific Research Institutes Francis Bacon’s (1627) ideal: - science as servant of society in Salomo’s House (Nova Atlantis) - knowledge is power Industrial Research Instituties: • science and technology as a siametic twin, • fundamental research versus applied research.
The birth of University Research Labs Johannes van der Waals Heike Kamerlingh Onnes Liquidization of Helium (~ 1905)
The birth of Industrial Research Labs • Scientific Research in Industry: • At the end of the nineteenth century: invention changed from an individual act into an outcome of an organizational process. Teamwork became important. • - Big industrial labs emerged around 1900: • GE, Bell, Kodak, Siemens, Philips Nat.Lab., • patents (outcome of scientific research) as market instruments, • scientists in servant of capitalism? • (Knowledge) Management problem.
Science, technology: the researcher and the institute Thomas Edison in his lab
The Industrial Research Laboratory Definition of an industrial research department: ‘…set apart from production facilities, staffed by people trained in science and advanced engineering who work toward deeper understandings of corporate-related science and technology, and who are organized and administered to keep them somewhat insulated from immediate demands yet responsive to long-term company needs’ (Reich, 1985). Its importance: The greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the invention of the method of invention (Whitehead).
Philips Nat.Lab. Period 1914 – 1945, director Gilles Holst. - humble start as a small organization, - diversification and organizational growth, - ‘Knowledge Management’.
Nat.Lab. Products Penthode tube Metalix tube
Philips Nat.Lab. • The Nat.Lab. Under Holst • Early period (1914 – 1923) • Patent Law, 1910, • Hybrid character with respect to types of work, • Small population, • Organizational growth after 1923 due to the companies diversification strategy.
Philips Nat.Lab. • The Nat.Lab. under Holst • Period 1923 – 1946 • Enabling Philips’ diversification program, • Increase of means, • Formal management with informal aspects, • ORCO meetings, R&D networks.
Knowledge Management at the Philips Nat.Lab. • K.M. at the Nat.Lab. on three levels: • the individual researchers, • groupwork, • organizational embeddedness.
R&D Knowledge Management on Three Levels Individual researcher professional scientists with colloquia and notebooks in a growing academic culture, increasing importance of scientific activities, R&D leadership. Groups inside the laboratory diversification of products and (selection of) research groups, group responsibilities, protocols for innovation patterns. Organizatio-nal embedded-ness participation in committees with other departments in the company and the upper management, contacts with universities for personnel and knowledge exchange, standardization activities, participation within R&D networks. Philips Nat.Lab.
Successful scientific research: teamwork and products Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain: the invention of the transistor at the Bell labs.
First Period: Embedded • A small Institute as a servant for the company with Holst as director: • Anton Philips as dominant company leader, • diversification and internationalization, • - publications and patents.
Second Period: Isolated • A famous international research institute with Casimir as director: • science as the endless frontier, • growing company and lab with formal structure, • fundamental research and scientific freedom, • - isolated from production, bad communication.
Booming Science at Philips Philips Cyclotron
Third Period: Contracted • Closely connected to the Company with Pannenborg as director: • economic crisis, bad sides of industries (environmental polution), • contract research (2/3 of the budget), free research (1/3 of the budget), • technology roadmaps.
The Philips Nat.Lab. • An industrial research laboratory as a paradox: • an investment in uncertainty, • organizational context: • - entrepreneurial behavior, • scientific research as a promising investment.