We live in a dynamic economic and commerical world, surrounded by objects of remarkable complexity and power. In many industries, changes in products and technologies have brought with them new kinds of firms and forms of organization. We are discovering news ways of structuring work, of bringing buyers and sellers together, and of creating and using market information. Although our fast-moving economy often seems to be outside of our influence or control, human beings create the things that create the market forces.
The disciplines of knowledge engineering and knowledge management are closely tied. Knowledge engineering deals with the development of information systems in which knowledge and reasoning play pivotal roles. Knowledge management, a newly developed field at the intersection of computer science and management, deals with knowledge as a key resource in modern organizations. Managing knowledge within an organization is inconceivable without the use of advanced information systems; the design and implementation of such systems pose great organization as well as technical challenges.
There is intense public interest in the role of universities as a source of science-based innovations. To increase our understanding of this role, this book compares the economic effects of university research in the United States and Japan—countries similar in economic and technological capabilities but different in culture, tradition, and institutional structure.
For many companies, the past decade has been marked by a sense of turbulence and redefinition. The growing role of information technologies and service businesses has prompted companies to reconsider how they are structured and even what business they are in. These changes have also affected how people work, what skills they need, and what kind of careers they expect. One critical change in how people work, argues Larry Hirschhorn, is that they are expected to bring more of themselves psychologically to the job.
The Making of Economic Policy begins by observing that most countries' trade policies are so blatantly contrary to all the prescriptions of the economist that there is no way to understand this discrepancy except by delving into the politics. The same is true for many other dimensions of economic policy.
The globalization of the economy, increasing number of transnational organizations, and rapid changes in robotics, information, and telecommunication technologies are just a few of the factors significantly altering organizational time scales, forms, complexity, and environments. Time scales have shrunk, new organizational forms are emerging, and organizational environments are expanding and mutating at unprecedented rates. Computational modeling affords opportunities to both understand and respond to these complex changes.
Game theory has come to dominate industrial organization economics, but business strategists continue to debate its usefulness. So far, empirical work on the application of game theory to business strategy has been too limited to force a consensus. As a (partial) remedy, Games Businesses Play uses detailed case studies of competitive interaction to explore the uses and limits of game theory as a tool for business strategists.
Technical innovation has moved to center stage in contemporary debates on economic theory and policy, and Chris Freeman and Luc Soete have played a prominent part in these debates. For this new edition of The Economics of Industrial Innovation, they have rewritten all the existing chapters and added ten new ones that address recent advances in theory and in policymaking. In the new chapters they deal with the international dimensions of technical change including underdevelopment, technology transfer, international trade, and globalization.