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Productivity, Innovation and Knowledge in Services

New Economic and Socio-Economic Approaches

Edited by Jean Gadrey and Faïz Gallouj

Written by some of the most distinguished authors in the field, this book elucidates the critical and complex relationships between services, production and innovation. The authors discuss the limitations of current theories to explain service productivity and innovation, and call for a conceptual re-working of the ways in which these are measured. They also highlight the important role of knowledge in the production system and in doing so make an important contribution to a key debate which has emerged in the social sciences in recent years.
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Chapter 3: Informational Activities as Co-production of Knowledge and Values

Jacques De Bandt and Ludovic Dibiaggio


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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