Characteristics of technical visionaries as perceived by American and British industrial physicists

Bruce A. Vojak, Abbie Griffin, Raymond L. Price, Konstantin Perlov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research explores which characteristics most frequently appear in industrial technical visionaries and which are perceived as being the most important contributors to their success. Industrial technical visionaries are defined as 'technical individuals who effectively synthesize multiple technologies and business strategy to identify new and innovative breakthrough products and processes'. The perceptions of a total of 418 American and British industrial physicists were evaluated for this study to produce the first descriptive analysis of these key individuals based on a large-scale investigation. The research provides a profile of technical visionary characteristics that can be employed in identifying those with the potential for contributing in this role. In addition to their recognized depth and breadth of technical expertise, technical visionaries are, first and foremost, emotionally involved, energetic, stubborn in pursuing objectives and interpersonally capable. They are a self-motivated driving force in a firm, not just the source of technical insight. These individuals' knowledge of, and ability to navigate, the business world is perceived as more important to their success than most of their technical skills, other than technical depth. Finally, the traits associated with technical visionaries' 'idealist' nature are perceived as important, indicating that this characteristic should not be overlooked as defining who these individuals are.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalR and D Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Characteristics of technical visionaries as perceived by American and British industrial physicists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this