Globalization, Growth, and Governance: Creating an Innovative Economy

Globalization, Growth, and Governance: Creating an Innovative Economy

Globalization, Growth, and Governance: Creating an Innovative Economy

Globalization, Growth, and Governance: Creating an Innovative Economy

Synopsis

This book is about the processes of innovation at the global, national, and corporate levels. It explores the contexts, complexities, and contradictions of innovation from a range of disciplinary perspectives and is divided into three main sections. In the first on Globalization and Technology, international contributors explore the links between changing systems of production and competitiveness; the impact of new technology and innovation on international labour markets; and the innovation practices of global firms. In the section on Innovation and Growth, a close look is taken at the innovation decisions and activities of individual firms. The evidence in these chapters challenges many assumptions about the nature of competitive behaviour and the co-operative links between firms. In the section on Governance, Business Performance, and Public Policy, the contributors examine the relationship between governance systems and firms' innovation strategies and decisions, assessing the capabilities and characteristics of different models of capitalism. The book concludes with a discussion of the most effective approach to industrial policy in the `innovative economy'. Interdisciplinary and international in its scope this book provides important evidence and arguments on the processes of innovation and in so doing addresses real challenges for policy-makers, managers, and academics alike.

Excerpt

The development of new products and processes has always been a major factor in competition between firms. Recently, however, it has increasingly been seen as a key weapon in a competitive struggle between countries or regional blocs. Indeed the rapid spread of technology has been in danger of receiving more attention for its supposed adverse effect on employment in industrialized countries than for its beneficial effects in raising living standards in developing countries. We therefore commissioned chapters for this book which would aim to describe, analyse, and explain these processes, and would also consider what policy responses could and should be being developed.

As with our previous books in this series, Unemployment in Europe (Academic Press, 1994), Managing the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 1995), Creating Industrial Capacity: Towards Full Employment (Oxford University Press, 1996), and Employment and Economic Performance (Oxford University Press, 1997), we are particularly concerned with the implications of the topic for restoring full employment. As long as there is heavy unemployment, advances in process technology are increasingly seen as a spur to downsizing and a threat to jobs. We need to consider afresh how to make innovation more benign and less threatening. a higher level of demand for labour in the industrialized countries is one essential. But from a global point of view, we want on the one hand to speed up the development and spread of technology; on the other hand, we need (a) to pinpoint and tackle the problems of transition in individual firms, industries and areas, and (b) to devise an effective world strategy for trade and payments which will avoid intolerable surpluses or deficits in either industrialized or developing countries. the problem of harnessing technological development to economic progress cannot be separated from national and international macroeconomic policies governing levels of demand, exchange rates, and so on.

This is an ambitious and challenging project, and the present book does not aim to tackle the whole range of these issues. Rather it focuses on how firms can be made more innovative in the sense of seeking to introduce new products and services, opening up new markets and developing new industries.

Globalization and technology

In his opening chapter on 'Production Principles, Organizational Capabilities, and Technology Management', Michael Best argues that technological change is central to explaining industrial leadership and that by tapping the world's pool of technology, technology-following nations can achieve much . . .

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