2006 Research Agenda—New Initiative Emerging Global Markets Situation Analysis Principal Investigators Stan Widrick, Ph.D., Professor, College of Business, RIT Frank Cost, Professor and Associate Dean, College of Imaging Arts & Sciences, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives For American and Western European suppliers to the printing industry, newly developing markets in Asia and Latin America represent the best opportunity for their sustained growth in the near future. The magnitude of the opportunity in each developing country is not merely a function of market size and growth rate, but also of industry and government structures and policies, as well as cultural factors. The objective of this research project will be to gain a clearer understanding of the macro- and micro-environmental forces at play in each of five important developing markets for print: China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and Russia. These five will be compared to the U.S. and England. Method The first phase of research will involve a review of existing sources of data and information avail- able in and about the five countries of interest. We will employ graduate students native to the five countries as research assistants to assist with finding and translating relevant published materials. We will also call upon partner academic institutions and industry organizations in each of the countries studied for assistance in finding and interpreting sources of information. These partner academic institutions include the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communications, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Moscow State University for Printing Arts, and the Senai College of Graphic Communications in Brazil. We will also rely on relationships with key indi- viduals in each country to help guide the research. Steps 1. Use existing sources of information to identify the major variables that drive or hinder print consumption. 2. Conduct depth interviews with printing industry center partners to gain a deeper under- standing of the power of these variables in influencing print demand. 3. Systematically gather secondary information on each variable for these seven countries using both U.S. and target country sources. Our native country graduate students will play a significant role here. 4. We will ask our Printing Industry Center partners to provide names and contact informa- tion for at least one person in each of our five target countries. We will conduct depth phone interviews with these people in order to gain specific local insight – Continued – Widrick & Cost, Emerging Global Markets Situation Analysis into the demand for printing products. In addition, faculty members at partner universities will be interviewed in order to gain further insights into country specific demand and challenges. 5. Using this combination of secondary information and depth interviews we anticipate that we will create a demand profile for each country. 6. Possible future studies building on this stage one work. a. Using secondary data and the depth interviews, identify several cities/regions of higher potential interest in each country. b. Conduct surveys in each country to assess target customer perceptions of areas of demand growth. 2006 Research Agenda—New Initiative Assessing Quality of Digital Printed Products Principal Investigator Bob Chung, Gravure Research Professor, School of Print Media, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives As paradigm shifts, old rules no longer apply and new rules take hold. This happens in all walks of life. For example, as pre-media technologies move from film-based workflow to digital workflow, standards for print-ready file exchange are redefined. In print media production, as digital print- ing technologies join forces with conventional offset lithography, standards that govern printing specifications and quality assurance are no longer adequate. The objective of this research project is to: 1. Review existing lithographic-based standards regarding how print quality are specified and assessed. 2. Identify parameters that impact print quality by digital printing. 3. Demonstrate the impact of these parameters in digital printing with the use of test targets. 4. Propose a set of digital printing standards for industry adoption. Method 1. Interview and review literature We will interview practitioners and conduct literature searches pertaining to process parameters and print quality metrics for offset lithography and digital printing. For example, process pa- rameters include paper, colorant, screening, solid tone density, tonal value increase; print quality metrics include quantitative (spatial uniformity, temporal consistency, resolution), and qualitative (visual demerits such as mottling, edge and adjacency, missing dot, streaks, banding). Print quality will also be categorized in terms of product grades, i.e., the difference between a single-page flyer and a hardbound book, and job difficulties, i.e., the difference between a 8.5” x 11” black-and- white text and a 20” x 30” four-color poster with bleeds. 2. Identify process parameters Base on the literature review, we will present process parameters and print quality metrics to interested members of the Sloan PIC, e.g., GPO, and seek input from them in terms of major for- ward constraints in pre-media, e.g., typical PDF/X file format. We will also seek input from them regarding weighting factors on print quality metrics between lithographic printing and digital printing processes. – Continued – Chung, Assessing Quality of Digital Printed Products 3. Define pre-media and print media workflow We will define a digital-to-litho workflow and an all-digital workflow whereby the input digital file, con- taining test targets, is the same for both workflows. We’ll also define the print production workflow using lithography and digital printing. 4. Conduct press trials We’ll specify materials, press resources, and carry out press trials beginning with the same digital file and using the same paper on offset and digital printing presses. 5. Document major findings Based on input from the PIC members, we will report major findings as follows: (a) an attribute-based quality assurance procedure for digital printed products; (b) a quantitative assessment of process capabil- ity of digital printing systems from both spatial and temporal points of view and propose; and (c) recom- mend such findings as permissible tolerances in digital printing to Committee for Graphic Arts Technol- ogy Standards (CGATS). 2006 Research Agenda—New Initiative Establishing Objective Requirements for Faithful Facsimile Reproduction of Original Printed Assets Principal Investigator Michael Riordan, Professor, School of Print Media, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives The digital age has brought with it great opportunities for the digitization of archives and other hard copy resources, allowing them to become accessible as electronic resources as well as avail- able for hard copy reproduction. Given the breadth of content they need to store and retrieve, libraries and museums have been at the forefront of the more challenging aspects of these digitiza- tion efforts, working with a variety of approaches to achieve reasonable facsimiles of their hard copy originals. While many institutions have established successful methods for digitizing collections and pro- ducing acceptable facsimiles of originals, there is little standardization between the methodolo- gies of various institutions and no established international standards or guidelines available as a benchmark. Research Objectives 1. Establish a classification of original hardcopy documents based on type and mix of image content. 2. Determine the benchmark methodologies for digitization currently in practice or each class of original. 3. With an emphasis on production efficiencies, determine (where possible) a “best practices” subset of the benchmark methodologies surveyed. 4. Establish a recommended set of standards or objective guidelines that could be used for the efficient digitization of document archives comprised of two-dimensional pre-printed (ink on paper) and photographic originals. Method 1. Through a thorough review of the literature, determine the digitization methodologies most commonly in practice today. 2. Once benchmark methodologies have been determined, collect further data via interview and possible on-site investigation to establish a “best practices” subset. 3. Through further analysis and applied testing to verify requirements for specific classes of originals and establish a recommended set of criteria that could be used to guide most successful document digitization projects. 2006 Research Agenda—New Initiative Permanence of Toner on Paper Principal Investigators Franziska Frey, Ph.D., Professor, School of Print Media, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives The purpose of this study is to understand the life expectancy of products printed with electro- photographic processes. As the technology advances, new markets and applications are develop- ing, requiring improved document longevity and robustness. With more and more documents being printed digitally it is important to know how these documents fare in the various stages of the different life cycles they are going through. Handling and archiving are two of the stages of the life cycle that this study will concentrate on. Offset printing will be included in the study to serve as a point of reference. Specific research objectives are to: • Investigate and describe the life cycle of various products produced with digital presses • Investigate finishing and handling parameters for digital products • Investigate archiving environments for digital printed documents • Investigate and define key variables that determine life expectancy • Investigate and define tests for the above variables • Build a foundation for defining quality metrics for various types of digital material in comparison with lithography. Method A literature review will be looking at the life cycle of various electrophotographic printed products and describe key parameters affecting life expectancy. Additional tests on how these parameters can be investigated will be researched. At the same time, a pilot study will be conducted with companies in Rochester, NY, that are involved in various aspects of digital printing–from manu- facturing presses and consumables to selling and designing digitally printed products. In-depth interviews will be conducted afterwards to help establish a framework of the life cycle and life ex- pectancy of digitally printed products; this framework will also include the findings of the litera- ture review. The outcome of this first part of the study will determine parameters and appropriate tests to investigate life expectancy. – Continued – Frey, Permanence of Toner on Paper The second part of the project will be devoted to permanence and robustness testing of various digitally- printed products. In addition, more interviews with targeted individuals from specific areas of interest (finishing, paper, toner, etc.) will be conducted. The last part of the project will be to create a framework to combine product life cycle and life expectancy and hence develop metrics and checklists for various products. Key Measures – Dependent Variables Various variables defining life cycle/life expectancy or products, e.g., folding strength, abrasion, waterfast- ness, light fastness, and pollutants. Key Measures–Independent Variables • Standard operating procedures • Use of specific products determining the life cycle (consumer behavior) • Job types. 2006 Research Agenda—New Initiative Measuring Print Media Effectiveness in a Multimedia Environment Principal Investigator Patricia Sorce, Ph.D., Administrative Chair, School of Print Media, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives As reported in the forthcoming book Data-Driven Print, media planning is coming under more scrutiny to make the most of a client’s marketing dollars. As some media executives noted, getting the most value out of advertising is their top concern. Direct and interactive marketing methods, in general, are well positioned to deliver the accountability from marketing programs that clients are demanding in this economic climate. These media forms may be more attractive to advertisers simply because they are able to deliver timely and direct measures of the impact of the advertising spend. Traditional advertising media may be at a disadvantage in attracting more of the advertis- ing expenditure if they are unable to measure the direct impact of the advertising that is placed in them. It is a concern for much of print media if advertising dollars are being reallocated into the most measurable forms. The purpose of this research is to create a methodology for measuring the impact of print advertising to gain a better understanding of the optimal role that print fulfills relative to other media in marketing campaigns. This is a complex problem because it always been a challenge to separate the effects of advertis- ing from other elements of the marketing program, the behavior of competitors, and the overall economic environment. In addition, there are likely to be effects of the nature of the product and its stage of the product life cycle. Therefore, an important starting point is to define a methodol- ogy that will be valid and reliable. For example, what measure of impact do we use? Should we use cognitive measures such as awareness, recognition or recall or behavioral measures such as inquiry, request for more information, or actual purchase? If the latter, another major hurdle is to gain the cooperation of firms to share marketing data. For-profit firms are reluctant to do so be- cause it may jeopardize their position in the marketplace. And, unless we have a partnership with a credible media measurement organization, our research may be viewed as simply “academic” with little relevance to the industry. In sum, the methodological issues are substantial and will require a long-term perspective to do well. Research Plan First, we will invite the RIT Printing Industry Center partners and invited experts to attend a plan- ning meeting to discuss the scope and focus of the project. As a part of this meeting, we will begin with what we already know about media effects on achieving marketing and communications goals. This will start with relevant theory and review of academic research in these areas. A second area for discussion is the current status of this effort in the advertising and media measurement organizations. Then, we will discuss the design of the optimal research program. – Continued – Sorce, Measuring Print Media Effectiveness in a Multimedia Environment Participants will invite their agency of record media planners or media researchers to seek help us frame this research program. Other academic research programs (e.g., Northwestern Media Management Center or the Sloan Center at Vanderbilt on Internet Retail Buying) may be invited to participate in this planning meeting or in the subsequent implementation. Outcomes from the meeting will be to identify the resources needed to achieve our goals. For example, other practitioner research organizations may be sought to help with the field work. We must also evaluate the costs of conducting the work if these practitioner partners will need compensation for their work. In sum, the goal of the first meeting of the research program is to frame the research objectives, establish a priority for achieving the objectives, and identify the resources needed, such as other organizational part- ners. The second phase will begin by gathering the needed resources and design an implementation plan. The implementation plan will include the precise research methods that will be used to achieve the objec- tives, a timetable, and the dollar cost for completing the work (if more financial resources are required). Endnote 1 (2003). Planning the next step. Mediaweek, 13(9): M12-13. 2006 Research Agenda—New Initiative Creativity in the Printing Industry Principal Investigators Shal Khazanchi, Ph.D., Professor, College of Business, RIT Sandra Rothenberg, Ph.D., Professor, College of Business, RIT Holly Slay, Ph.D., Instructor, College of Business, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives Organizational creativity can be a source of competitive advantage. Creativity influences firm performance through innovation. All innovation begins with creative ideas and individual creativ- ity is the first step toward innovation (e.g., Amabile, 1996; Nijhof, Krabbendam, & Looise, 2002), which has been shown to directly impact organizational performance (Damanpur & Evan, 1984; Damanpour, Szabat, & Evan, 1989; Irwin, Hoffman, & Lamont, 1998). Specifically, creativity can result in product differentiation which improves firm performance through enhanced customer loyalty and satisfaction (Andrews & Smith, 1996). Research by Im and Workman Jr. (2004) found that new product creativity was positively related to market and financial success of the new prod- uct. As such, creativity is particularly critical, if organizations are to remain flexible, and be able to successfully handle changing competition, markets, and technological requirements (Gilson, Mathieu, Shalley, & Ruddy, 2005). These competitive conditions and, in turn, the need for creativity is no clearer than in the printing industry. The pace of technological change has increased rapidly, and continues to increase ever more rapidly; these changes can render organizational competencies moot. In addition, as global competition continually becomes more a part of business life, printers once subject to only local competition are increasingly subject to regional, national and international competition. As ad- dressed in prior Center research, printers have to be able to effectively adopt new digital technolo- gies, take on the challenge of increased service provision, and deal with competitive threats and opportunities from offshore printers. Past research suggest that organizations that are more creative may be better able to meet these competitive pressures. Research, however, does not adequately explain how organizations can remain creative when faced with adverse conditions that can lower employee motivation, and increase stress. All of which have shown to be negatively impact creativity (e.g., Amabile, 1996). As outlined in our research on resilience, many printers are facing such adverse conditions, due to the competitive conditions outlined above. As noted by Freeman and Rothenberg (2005), “In this increasingly competitive environment, clients systematically play one printer against another demanding continual price cuts. Printers allege that suppliers in a bleak market flood the market with productivity-enhancing equipment, adding to chronic over-capacity and, further pressuring profit margins. The net result is that printing firms, once highly secure, are now extremely vulner- able. The number of establishments in printing and related support activities has decreased from – Continued – Khazanchi, Rothenberg, & Slay, Creativity in the Printing Industry 42,863 in 1997 to 37,168 in 2002.” Similarly, suppliers are faced with challenges, perhaps of different na- ture, associated with being cost effective yet creative. In general, it is in this type of changing environment that creativity can be particularly difficult to encourage. One little explored factor that may facilitate and/or hinder creativity is identity. Identity can play a criti- cal role in the process by which employees become creative. For one, identity is a central aspect of how workers come to see themselves as being creative (i.e., develop creative role identity); the extent to which they see themselves as creative will positively influence their creativity (Farmer, Tierney, & Kung-McIntyre, 2003). Furthermore, an individual’s organizational identity can also impact creativity. For example, if an organization has a strong identity as a “printer”, an employee is like to also identity him or herself as a printer. As a result, it will be more difficult for them to appreciate a wider range of ideas that are more cen- tral to alternative identities, such as “information management company.” Lastly, creativity may be linked to the number of identities held by an individual, as well as their ability to “move” among them. Figure 1. Relationships of Interest for Study Figure 1 shows the relationships of interest in this study. Note that performance is “greyed out” for now, since we do not plan on measuring it for this particular part of the study. It is, however, something that can be addressed in future work. Our research questions for this study are: • How can creativity be fostered in adverse environments? • How do individual and company identities influence the creativity process? • How do individual and company identities moderate the relationship between environment and creativity? • How do employees construct the various identities that might influence creativity? Method We propose to adopt case study method involving the use of both quantitative and qualitative methodol- ogy. First phase of the study will utilize survey based quantitative approach, which investigates the impact of individual, group and organizational identity on creativity. While we primarily discuss issues related to printers, suppliers are also faced with challenges in trying to be creative. However, we recognize differences in the two sectors and, as such, we would like to survey a population within one large organization (either printers or suppliers) to control for certain environmental conditions. If we are not able to identify an organization, then we can also survey through either the GATF/PIA or the printing survey panel. The second phase, which will be undertaken in the second year, will utilize interview-based grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1964) to explore how employees construct creative role and group identities, as well as the processes that underlie organizational creativity. – Continued – Khazanchi, Rothenberg, & Slay, Creativity in the Printing Industry References Amabile, T.M. 1996. Creativity in Context: Update to the Social Psychology of Creativity. Boulder, CO: West- view. Andrews, J. & Smith, D.C. 1996. In search of the marketing imagination: Factors affecting the creativity of marketing programs for mature products. Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. 33: 174-187. Damanpour, F., Szabat, K. A., & Evan, W.M. 1989. The relationship between types of innovation and orga- nizational performance. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 26 (6): 587-602. Damanpour, F., & Evan, W.M. Organizational innovation and performance: The problem of “organiza- tional lag”. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 29 (3): 393-410. Gilson, L., Mathieu, J.E., Shalley, C.E, & Thomas, R.M. 2005. Creativity and standardization: Complemen- tary or conflicting drivers of team effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 48 (3)” 521-531. Glaser, B.G., & Strauss, A.L. 1964. The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. New York, NY: Aldine Publishing Company. Farmer, S.M., Tierney, P., & Kung-McIntyre, K. 2003. Employee creativity in Taiwan: An application of role identity theory. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 46 (5): 618-630. Im. S., & Workman Jr., J.P. 2004. Market orientation, creativity and new product performance in high- technology firms. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 68 (2): 114-132. Irwin, J.G., Hoffman, J.J., & Bruce. T. 1998. The effect of the acquisition of technological innovations. Jour- nal of Engineering & Technology Management, Vol. 15 (1): 25-55. Nijhof, A., Krabbendam, K., & Looise, J.C. 2002. Innovation through exemptions: Building upon the exist- ing creativity of employees. Technovation, Vol. 22 (11): 675-684. 2006 Research Agenda—Continuing Initiative Offshore Outsourcing Issues for the Printing Industry: A Continued Study of Issues, Trends, and Potential Impacts Principal Investigators Ron Hira, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Public Policy Department, College of Liberal Arts, RIT Sandra Rothenberg, Ph.D., Professor, College of Business, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives Offshore outsourcing has garnered a large amount of attention in the media, but more important- ly amongst business managers. It has been called an imperative by some management consultants who warn managers that if they do not begin their offshore outsourcing operations in earnest they will fall behind competitively. It has already had a major impact in certain industry sectors, most notably Information Technology (IT), which has been the first mover. A global delivery model is emerging, consisting of a mix of on-site and offshore functions. This has lead to both opportuni- ties and challenges for IT managers, who now have to manage teams across continents and time zones. Offshore outsourcing and offshoring as a business model is snowballing into sectors where it was previously thought impossible, such as financial services, semiconductor engineering de- sign, and even legal functions. The OECD estimates that up to 20% of all white collar services jobs in developed countries is vulnerable to offshoring. Little is known about how this economic restructuring is affecting the printing industry. This research will be the first step in a more comprehensive research agenda that will study the role of offshoring and offshore outsourcing in the U.S. printing industry. The research will continue to explore questions such as: • How much offshore outsourcing is occurring in the printing industry? What is driving firms to move offshore? • What parts of the printing industry value chain are most amenable to offshoring and which parts will likely stay on-site? As printing becomes increasingly digital, how will that affect the scale and scope of offshoring in the industry? • What type of printing companies are poised to take advantage of the opportunities of offshoring and which firms might find major new competitive challenges from the trend? • How has the printing industry been affected as their customers and suppliers have moved offshore? • What are the lessons learned by printing industry firms that have tried to move business operations offshore? Are the actual savings equal to what was expected? How has offshor- ing changed the ways in which they have had to manage their production process? – Continued – Hira & Rothenberg, Offshore Outsourcing Issues for the Printing Industry The main objective of this research proposal is to begin scoping out some of the answers to these ques- tions in order to establish a longer-term, comprehensive research agenda for the center. Method We will continue to examine the threats and opportunities created for US printers by the rise in offshor- ing. We have just completed our first survey of the printing industry (Survey I) and will begin preliminary analysis of the results in the next few weeks. The survey was completed with the aid of PIA/GATF and sent out to its members. Survey I provides us a baseline picture of the amount of offshoring occurring in the printing industry. This year, Survey I will be complemented by a small study being done in China by Yuen Wei Chow, a Printing School student. Data for this study is being collected this fall and winter. As the major focus of the second year, however, we plan to follow-up Survey I by identifying printers who are willing to be in- terviewed about their experiences with offshoring print jobs or who have faced competition from over- seas. We will conduct interviews with select printers and use this qualitative data in combination with the results from phase 1. 2006 Research Agenda—Continuing Initiative Media Distribution in the Printing Industry Principal Investigator Twyla J. Cummings, Ph.D., Professor, School of Print Media, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives In November 2004 a proposal to research the status of distribution in the printing industry was presented to the Printing Industry Center partners. The first phase of the research study has been completed and has yielded some enlightening results. The outcome of this study satisfied the objectives that were set forth in the year one research proposal. Information has been generated regarding the current issues, challenges and trends that printing companies are faced with as a result of the physical distribution of printed materials. Additionally, we now have some insights into the structure of the physical distribution workflow process and the impact of e-distribution and print-on-demand on this workflow. In addition to the achievement of the research objectives it appears that new terminology, “dis- tribution workflow,” has been introduced. Additionally, we have learned that while “distribution” may seem like the obvious terminology for the physical or electronic movement of information, some in the industry have not embraced this term and feel that other descriptors such as “logis- tics” and “shipping” are more appropriate. While the research was productive, it is disconcerting to realize that very little has been published in printing industry resources about the physical distribution of print. Some possible explanations are that printers define distribution differently, and that it is often linked with other functions such as finishing, mailing, and fulfillment. Conversely, there has been more published on electronic distribution possibly due to the contin- ued growth and interest in this area. It was clear through this research that e-distribution will not have an immediate impact on, nor does it appear to provide a significant value for the traditional printing operation. It would seem that this process is more useful for networked printers such as Sir Speedy and FedEx Kinko’s. Phase two of the research will focus on the development of case studies using the interview data from selected companies from the phase one research sample. These case studies are intended to further populate the base of knowledge on this very important topic. Method The following methods will be used to achieve the defined research objectives: 1. Conduct second level interviews with six printers and print services providers from year one of the research. Participating firms will be asked for permission to reveal the company name in the published case studies. – Continued – Cummings, Media Distribution in the Printing Industry 2. Analyze and organize information from phase two interviews. 3. Develop case studies. References Cummings, T. and LeMaire, B. (2005, in press). [Media Distribution in the Printing Industry]. Rochester, NY: Rochester Institute of Technology, Printing Industry Center. 2006 Research Agenda—Continuing Initiative New Skills For DAM And Variable Data Printing Services—Is The Printing Industry Prepared? Principal Investigator Franziska Frey, Ph.D., Professor, School of Print Media, RIT Statement of Problem and Research Objectives Digital asset management (DAM) and variable data printing are used more and more widely in the printing industry. This development leads to a structural change in parts of the labor force. New skill sets are a requirement to be able to cope with the new technologies. A survey was con- ducted on this topic in year four. Many of the answers warrant going back to some of the respon- dents to be able to get more in-depth answers. This project is a follow up of the activity in the DAM area in year four. Specific research objectives and questions include: • What are the specific management strategies implemented to keep people with the skill sets needed for a successful DAM and VDP implementation? • What training methods work best to get employees ready for the new tasks? • Why were certain training topics selected? Were they successful? • What differentiates companies that are successful with hiring/training employees in DAM and VDP from companies that fail? • What information would be needed to get companies “think outside the box” when hiring and training employees? Method In-depth interviews will be conducted with employers, employees and manufacturers working in the area of variable data printing and digital asset management. The questions for the interviews will be based on the survey results that have been compiled so far. Additional data analysis will be completed to take full advantage of the survey results before going back to the respondents for more information. The results of the interviews will be compiled and compared with the survey results from year four.
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