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Technology and the Market

Demand, Users and Innovation

Edited by Rod Coombs, Ken Green, Albert Richards and Vivien Walsh

The interplay between demand from the market, the role of users in shaping that demand, and the way in which these factors influence the innovation process has always been a complex one. This forward thinking book examines this interplay from a technological change perspective. The contributors explore the potential for rapprochement between economics, sociological and other social science disciplines in considering the allocation of resources and the making of decisions about technological change. The papers within this book represent a judicious blend of theory and empirical research and look at a broad range of innovations, markets and technologies in medicine, agricultural and food production, services and IT. Technology and the Market raises the question of the many ‘visible hands’ that are involved in linking technology and the market together.
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Chapter 8: Internet market applications in ship-broking: a framework and research findings

Nikolaos Pisanias


8. Internet market applications in shipbroking: a framework and research findings Nikolaos Pisanias INTRODUCTION Debate on the impact of the Internet on socio-economic and business environments has been dominated by technological determinist perspectives, narrowing the range of discourse around the implications of this new technology. One important and neglected dimension concerns the implications of this technology with market relationships. Technological determinism suggests that the transactional efficiencies associated with the new medium should have a major impact on market structures. If that argument is correct, the case should be stronger in broking markets where the object of transaction does not have a physical dimension. However, an examination of various broking markets reveals significant differences in the implications of this technological innovation. Drawing upon participant observation research conducted in 1989–99 in the ship-broking market, the chapter explores the limitation of the technological determinist perspective and puts forward a model to explore the changing nature and dynamics of market relationships and information flows generated by the Internet. The ship-broking market has been chosen for analysis because of the seemingly slow rate of adoption of an innovation – the Internet – that, from a technological and economic perspective, appears to have a high degree of relative advantage over existing technologies. The chapter contributes to a so far relatively neglected area in Internet studies, namely our understanding of how user (that is, market agent) relationships influence the diffusion processes within a market. The approach focuses on the process of informing, conceptualizing information and...

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