Global technology trends monitoring: theoretical frameworks and best practices
Theoretical and applied studies about monitoring technology trends are carried out by organizations at global, national, sectoral, and corporate levels. Demand for them comes from the government, business, academic institutions, as well as the general public. Qualitative methods (expert interviews, surveys, workshops, etc.) play a significant role in large practical projects. At the same time, there is a need to validate expert assessments with quantitative methods, which involve searching for implicit signs of technological change based on analysing large volume of information. Approaches that have been developed in the framework of theoretical research are based on integrating qualitative and quantitative methods, with an emphasis on the latter. They aim to create a well-grounded methodology for identifying global technology trends, define the necessary criteria, and use automated tools for processing large amounts of data.
The paper presents an analytical review of international practices for monitoring global technology trends, as well as the key theoretical approaches and methods, which have been developed in this field. Next, it analyses the purposes of technology monitoring projects, examines the types of organizations implementing them, the methodology and results of such projects; explores the key areas of theoretical research on technology monitoring, and studies the criteria for determining the trends, as well as possible classifications of them. In addition, it presents the main stages of technology monitoring, studies the methodological trajectories of this process and information sources that can be used by various researchers. Finally, the paper analyses the combinations of methods that serve as the basis for identifying different types of technology trends.