Core concepts in the fulfillment of this mission were developed early in Dr. Gruber’s career with the MIT conference on “The Human Factor in the Transfer of Technology” co-chaired with Donald G. Marquis (proceedings co-edited Factors in the Transfer of Technology MIT Press, 1969 - translated into Japanese).[1] Marquis was David Sarnoff professor of management at MIT, the director of the MIT Research Program on the Management of Science and Technology and former president of the American Psychological Association. The Gruber-Marquis summary chapter focused on the fusion of Demand-Pull and Supply-Push forces in invention and transfer of technology into utilization. Professor Marquis and Dr. Gruber co-taught the MIT Sloan School graduate course on the integration of behavioral science, economics, and systems.  The economic professional lagged an integration of behavioral science until recognized by Dr. Gruber in his co-teaching and publications. This includes Gruber W.H. (1967) "Behavioral Science, Systems Analysis and the Failure of Top Management," Industrial Management Review (now Sloan Management Review).


Dr. Gruber co-authored with Professor Raymond Vernon, then director of the Harvard Business School Multinational Corporation Program, a paper on “The Technology Factor in a World Trade Matrix” (National Bureau of Economic Research, 1970). This paper was presented at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) conference, Technology Factor in International Trade chaired by Vernon. The proceedings were edited by Vernon, Technology Factor in International Trade (NBER, 1970). The Gruber-Vernon NBER paper was inspired by professor Vernon’s Demand-Pull input to international trade theory on how the United States achieved competitive advantage in international trade and investment. [4] In 1966 Gruber-Mehta-Vernon published "The R&D Factor in International Trade and International Investment of United States Industries" available here


Dr. Gruber’s week-long seminar for senior R&D executives in 1965 (published in “The Strategic Integration of Corporate Research and Development” American Management Association, 1981) identified the huge gap in understanding by R&D executives of corporate goals, resources and challenges with the goal to improve the contribution of R&D to corporate goals.


Dr. Gruber’s chapter “The Development and Utilization of Technology in Industry” in Gruber-Marquis (1969) included a case of U.S. Steel, which described a rapid increase in the number of pages on innovation in U.S. Steel annual reports at a time of rapid erosion of the U.S. Steel competitive position. U.S. Steel talked a good game of “innovation” in their annual reports but the stark failure in performance is notable. In 1970 Dr. Gruber presented these findings at the annual meeting of the Iron and Steel Institute.

© 2019 William H. Gruber