Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States

By William Lazonick | Go to book overview

1
What is New, and Permanent,
about the “New Economy”?

THE END OF “THE ORGANIZATION MAN”

The Internet boom of the last half of the 1990s seemed to herald the arrival of a “New Economy” with its promise that, after the stagnation of the early 1990s, innovation in information and communication technologies (ICT) would regenerate economic prosperity. The sharp economic downturn in 2001–2002 called into question the New Economy’s ability to deliver on this promise—and it even raised questions about whether there had really been anything “new” about the economy of the late 1990s after all. Perhaps the journalist John Cassidy (2002) was correct to title his book on the Internet boom Dot.con: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. If the New Economy was all smoke and mirrors, one would expect that, once the debris left behind by the storm of speculation and corruption had been cleared away, economic life would return to what it had been before the boom took place.

It is now clear that there was plenty of e-con in the New Economy. At the same time, however, there was something new, important, and permanent about the New Economy that transformed the economic lives of many from those they had led before. The core of that something new, important, and permanent is what I call the “New Economy business model” (NEBM), a mode of organizing business enterprises that has dramatically changed the ways in which, and terms on which, people in the United States are employed and, indeed, the way in which the U.S. economy operates.

NEBM emanated from Silicon Valley and spread to other regions of the United States. NEBM also affected employment relations in other areas of the world, especially Europe and Asia, as U.S.-based ICT companies extended their global reach and as high-tech companies based outside the United States sought to adopt elements of the new business model. With well-educated high-tech labor flowing into the United

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Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - What Is New, and Permanent, about the "New Economy"? 1
  • 2 - The Rise of the New Economy Business Model 39
  • 3 - The Demise of the Old Economy Business Model 81
  • 4 - Pensions and Unions in the New Economy 115
  • 5 - Globalization of the High-Tech Labor Force 149
  • 6 - The Quest for Shareholder Value 197
  • 7 - Prospects for Sustainable Prosperity 249
  • References 281
  • The Author 331
  • Index 333
  • About the Institute 357
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