Table of Contents

Innovation, Evolution and Economic Change

Innovation, Evolution and Economic Change

New Ideas in the Tradition of Galbraith

New Directions in Modern Economics series

Edited by Blandine Laperche, James K. Galbraith and Dimitri Uzunidis

The book begins with a penetrating analysis of the main features of today’s capitalism and in particular the conflict between shareholders and managers. It moves on to focus on the consequences of globalization in the decision-making processes of large corporations and represents an important step in the development of a theory of fraud and corruption within corporations. In the final part, the authors address and explore the consequences of the domination of influential groups over major social and political decisions, on the blurred boundaries between the public and the private sectors and its consequences in the fields of technological regulation and the evolution of public services. In so doing, the authors question the meaning and power of democracy in today’s society.

Chapter 7: Global R & D Networks and ICT: What Impacts on Firms?

Denis Carré, Gilliane Lefebvre, Bernadette Madeuf and Christian Milelli

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, economics of innovation, history of economic thought, innovation and technology, economics of innovation

Extract

7. Global R&D networks and ICT: what impacts on firms? Denis Carré, Gilliane Lefebvre, Bernadette Madeuf and Christian Milelli 1. INTRODUCTION Economic globalization involves changes in the organization of large firms expanding their activities worldwide. Considering the technostructure as the core of the decision-making process and ‘organized intelligence’, as J.K. Galbraith calls it, global strategies and organization are necessarily changing it. In this perspective one of the main issues is to consider how the technostructure that consists in the pooling of various specialized skills is able to cope with the dispersion of such skills in different economies. The development of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) may be seen as a means to reconcile the proximity required by some tasks, such as the creation of innovative products and processes or the collective decision-making process at the core of the technostructure, with the implementation of global strategies. But insofar as ICTs facilitate the global functioning of a spatially dispersed technostructure, their use may bring about another concern related to the ‘organic solidarity’ among the members of the global and complex technostructure. (This issue will be dealt with in Chapter 8). In order to shed light on this issue of the changing global technostructure, this chapter covers one particular dimension which is the impact of ICTs on the location and organization of the research-and-development (R&D) activities of global firms worldwide. The choice of analysing R&D activities is based on their specificity: first, R&D activities are genuinely associated with...

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