Venture Failure and the Timing of Telecommunications Reform
Chapter 4: Institutional Reform and Political Compromise
4. Institutional reform and political compromise The division of this book into two parts, the ﬁrst international, and the second national, is deceiving. The objective of the ﬁrst part was to show in what ways the two realms have been fused into one. Formerly separate marketspaces have become enmeshed by technology to such an extent that domestic agents such as small ﬁrms could, in theory, become ‘instant internationalizers’. But it is also the objective of this book to discuss ways in which the international and the national remain distinct despite the opportunities presented by the internet, hence the division of the volume into two parts. To show distinctiveness, we will depart from the worldwide perspective and zoom into one geographic segment of the global network: Europe, and here, speciﬁcally, the German economy. As outlined in the Introduction, Germany is interesting because of the apparent reversal of entrepreneurial dynamism towards the end of the 1990s. While small German ﬁrms have been at home in the world market for decades, the economy seemed to have become rigid and unentrepreneurial in recent times. In terms of telecommunications policy, Germany embarked much more slowly on liberalization than the ﬁrst-tier reformers, the USA, the UK, Japan and Scandinavia. Enterprises in the IT industry were regarded as domestic adopters and not global leaders, with the exception of a single company, SAP. This seemed to suddenly have changed in the last years of the 1990s, as numerous internet ventures were founded and listed on the stock...
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