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IBM Honors Dr. Amar Gupta

Press Release

Amar Gupta, Thomas R. Brown Chair in Management and Technology, professor of Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurship at the Eller College of Management, would like to change an old aphorism to “the sun never sets on the 24-hour knowledge factory.” Prior to joining The University of Arizona, Prof. Gupta was Professor of Management at the Sloan School of Management, MIT.

Gupta was recently honored with the IBM Faculty Award for his vision, research, and willingness to share his work in the public domain – the only UA professor to earn the prestigious distinction this year.  The award was presented by Terri Mitchell, vice president of storage systems development, Kenneth Day, distinguished engineer, and Kenneth Boyd, distinguished engineer, all of IBM, Tucson, Ariz. Boyd read the one-line citation on the award: “Achieving Global Efficiency in Product Development Through Application of 24-Hour Knowledge Factory Principles.”

“Recognizing the business value of Amar’s work, he was an obvious candidate for this award,” said Mitchell. “It recognizes research, the strength of our relationship with the university, and the synergy of the program. IBM’s continued effort to work with academia helps cultivate innovation to remain competitive in the world economy. Amar’s innovative ideas, global vision, and energy are extraordinary.”

Gupta accepted the cash award for The University of Arizona, reflecting on his first internship with IBM in Bombay, India. “I am fortunate to have had such an enduring relationship throughout my career with this fine company. My first internship was with IBM where I earned $8 per month,” he quipped.  “Little did I realize then, that I would one day receive such an honor.”

The IBM Faculty Award program is designed to foster collaboration between researchers at leading universities worldwide and those in IBM research, development, and services organizations. It also promotes coursework and curriculum innovation to stimulate growth in disciplines and geographies that are strategic to IBM. The company looks worldwide to find deserving recipients.

Widely known for his expertise in outsourcing, Gupta explained that the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory is a production model that transcends time and space.  Recognizing that the advanced economies of the world are moving from the production of tangible goods to the development of intangible intellectual property (IP), Gupta and his colleagues are developing ways to facilitate IP development worldwide.  

According to the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory paradigm, each member of the team works the normal workday hours that pertain to his or her time zone. At the end of the workday, a fellow team member located in a different time zone continues the same task. By having three sets of individuals perform work over a 24-hour period, the time needed to develop information systems is drastically reduced. The paradigm will apply to a broad spectrum of business functions ranging from medical services to logistics planning, and from financial analysis to product design.

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