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Hardcover | $20.00 Short | £13.95 | ISBN: 9780262013666 | 176 pp. | 5.375 x 8 in | 13 figures, 10 tables| September 2009
Paperback | $12.95 Trade | £9.95 | ISBN: 9780262518611 | 176 pp. | 5.375 x 8 in | 13 figures, 10 tables| February 2013

Essential Info

Wired for Innovation

How Information Technology Is Reshaping the Economy


A wave of business innovation is driving the productivity resurgence in the U.S. economy. In Wired for Innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Saunders describe how information technology directly or indirectly created this productivity explosion, reversing decades of slow growth. They argue that the companies with the highest level of returns to their technology investment are doing more than just buying technology; they are inventing new forms of organizational capital to become digital organizations. These innovations include a cluster of organizational and business-process changes, including broader sharing of information, decentralized decision-making, linking pay and promotions to performance, pruning of non-core products and processes, and greater investments in training and education.

Brynjolfsson and Saunders go on to examine the real sources of value in the emerging information economy, including intangible inputs and outputs that have defied traditional metrics. For instance, intangible organizational capital is not directly observable on a balance sheet yet amounts to trillions of dollars of value. Similarly, such nonmarket transactions of information goods as Google searches or views of Wikipedia articles are an increasingly large share of the economy yet virtually invisible in the GDP statistics.

Drawing on work done at the MIT Center for Digital Business and elsewhere, Brynjolfsson and Saunders explain how to better measure the value of technology in the economy. They treat technology as not just another type of ordinary capital investment by also focusing on complementary investments--including process redesign, training, and strategic changes--and ton he value of product quality, timeliness, variety, convenience, and new products.

Innovation continues through booms and busts. This book provides an essential guide for policy makers and economists who need to understand how information technology is transforming the economy and how it will create value in the coming decade.

About the Author

Erik Brynjolfsson is Schussel Family Professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business. He is the coeditor of Understanding the Digital Economy: Data, Tools, and Research (MIT Press).


“Compact and insightful, Wired for Innovation provides a synthesis of the research on econometric analyses of information and communication technologies (ICT) that bear on organizational and industrial productivity.” — Steve Sawyer, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology


"There is little doubt that a successful future for the US economy rests on its capacity to innovate, especially in the broad and growing field of information technology, but not only there. This short, readable book surveys what is known about the complicated process of innovation, discusses how it might be encouraged, and suggests where further research might pay off with valuable insight and understanding. There are important implications here for business, government, and education."
Robert Solow, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1987

"Brynjolfsson and Saunders have written an important roadmap for future technology innovation. Anyone interested in the business and economics of information technology should read this book."
Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief, Wired, author of Free: The Future of a Radical Price

"In this concise, valuable book, Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Saunders offer a wealth of evidence about the effects of business investments in information technology on companies and the overall economy. Wired for Innovation is essential reading for any executive or policy maker looking to get the most out of IT spending and related digital strategies."
Nicholas Carr, author of The Big Switch and Does IT Matter?

"If you want to read just one book on digital economy, Wired for Innovation should be it. This easy-to-read, yet comprehensive and analytical handbook provides essential insights for understanding how and why information technology is transforming business and the economy. Anyone reading this book will come away understanding just how important and transformative the IT revolution has been, and will be in the future."
Robert D. Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, author of The Past and Future of America's Economy

"Information technology has been the main source of innovation in the U.S. economy for at least two decades. Brynjolfsson and Saunders cover all aspects of this important topic. Their book will be a fruitful starting point for many research programs and will have a broad impact on research in economics and management."
Dale Jorgenson, Department of Economics, Harvard University, author of Econometrics

"This is the scientific IT productivity research that CIOs have been waiting for."
Leo Apotheker, CEO, SAP

"If e-business had an oracle, Erik Brynjolfsson would be anointed."BusinessWeek