What Do We Mean by Research and Development?

by David Novick



This article examines the current confusion in R&D classification, the available statistics of R&D growth and problems in using the data, and attempts to develop a useful scheme of identification for various types of research, development, test, and evaluation. Better classification and measurements of R&D should be of value to those who must make resource allocation decisions. For such people, proper classification of R&D is of critical importance to permit identification of the kind of results which might be expected from each major R&D grouping, and to provide a better basis for allocating scarce resources to R&D among other urgent programs. Numerous studies emphasize the recent marked expansion in R&D effort. Changes in budgetary practice by the Department of Defense have given new importance to the rate of growth in this activity. The U.S. now speaks glowingly of the $3.7 billion R&D expenditures budgeted for fiscal 1960 when comparing it with $650 million identifiable as military research and development outlays in fiscal 1950. In the same way, people talk of business expansion of R&D expenditures from about $166 million in 1930 to $1 billion several years ago and to $10 billion today.

California Management Review

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