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Managers Need More Science, Survey Says

While technology is an increasingly important issue for today's business leaders, senior managers at the nation's leading corporations say that fewer than 50 percent of their colleagues are technologically literate, according to The Science Gap in Management, a new report by Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management.

More than 90 percent of executives surveyed agreed that as we continue to move toward a knowledge-based economy, it is becoming increasingly important for senior managers to have the technological background to understand the business opportunities, limitations, and implications of technology decisions. About one-third said that their companies expect to hire more scientifically trained professionals for management positions than they have in the past.

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In addition, 68 percent of those surveyed agreed that a "cultural divide" between those with technical training, such as those in research and development positions, and those without it, such as those commonly found in finance, marketing, and sales, is a significant problem for corporations. They also said that their companies would be more competitive if more senior managers were technologically literate.

"The survey shows a 'technological literacy' gap in corporate America," says Alan Merten, dean of the Johnson School. "Yet technology is becoming increasingly important to companies in all sectors of the economy."

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