New Economic and Socio-Economic Approaches
Edited by Jean Gadrey and Faïz Gallouj
Chapter 3: Informational Activities as Co-production of Knowledge and Values
3. Informational activities as co-production of knowledge and values Jacques De Bandt and Ludovic Dibiaggio INTRODUCTION At least in developed countries, productive systems have been undergoing, since the beginning of the 1970s, deep and wide-ranging changes. Of particular importance, among these changes, has been the growth of service activities, particularly of financial and business services. Significant among these have been the growth of activities related to information (informatics, information systems and activities) and, particularly in the 1980s, R&D activities and systems of innovation. This chapter aims at analysing those evolutions and at proposing a consistent interpretation, with reference to a specific representation of the ‘new economy’. The ‘learning economy’, in which knowledge is supposed to play a new and much increased role, is implying both new ‘ways of doing’ in the various domains and new types of relations to space and time. If so, what is at stake is the interpretation of the actually observed evolutions of production activities in this perspective. The emphasis will be on a set of new phenomena and realities, of which it can be shown rather easily that they cannot be handled within the framework of the old industrial paradigm, which was referring mainly to the energetic transformation of raw materials. Their novelty has to be highlighted, so as to show that in order for these new phenomena and realities to be understandable, a new paradigm or system of interpretation is required, referring essentially to the role of knowledge in production and value creation....
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