Understanding the Emergence of a Large Scale European Initiative In Technology
In: Science and Public Policy (1994) 21 (1): 31-41.
European information technology policy has recently started to focus on projects aimed at building large-scale capabilities. A pioneer of this approach is the Open Microprocessor Systems Initiative (OMI) sponsored by the Commission of European Communities (CEC). The nature of the essentially consensual process which has enabled the many different players in the OMI to agree to a common programme is examined. A framework is proposed which identifies the complex interaction of technical, economic, behavioural and political factors involved in creating a large-scale capability programme. It is argued that the successful emergence of these programmes implies a process of perception- and goal-alignment which gradually and programmatically integrates the stances of different organisations. Key aspects of general validity which assist in building these programmes are highlighted, along with the main tactics and techniques deployed in the process leading to the successful alignment of perceptions and goals within the OMI.