Prometheus: Vol 11, No 1 (1993)

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P. W. Newton
Pages: 3-29


New technologies and the infrastructure and industries that develop around them have continuously shaped and re-shaped physical and cultural landscapes throughout history. While the antecedents of the information and communications revolution can be traced back beyond the twentieth century, the major burst of telematic products and services and their supporting infrastructures has occurred over the past quarter century. Furthermore, this development is accelerating. The manner in which information and communications technologies are re-shaping patterns of urban settlement is as yet not clear, however. The present paper identifies some emerging trends in the Australian context.

Edith T. Penrose
Pages: 30-44


In advanced industrial economies… managerial hierarchies have gained an increasing advantage over market mechanisms or multilateral negotiations in coordinating the flow of goods, monitoring economic activities, and allocating resources… By the time the United States entered World War I management decisions had replaced coordination by market forces in many of the most critical sectors of the economy. The result might be termed managerial capitalism. (Chandler and Daems, 1980: 5, 6)

… the decision-taking nexus of the MNE in the late 1980s has come to resemble the central nervousd system of a much larger group of interdependent but less formally governed activities, whose function is primarily to advance the global competitive strategy and position of the core organization …

There are several implications of the new style MNEs… First they cause us to reappraise our thinking about the nature, function and boundaries of firms and markets… Second, they cast doubt on the usefulness of some of our existing classifications of our economic activities and of our traditional concepts of competition. Third, they have profoundly affected the pattern and ownership of international economic activity and the political economy of the countries which are party to it. (Dunning, 1988a: 327, 328)

The first element of a successful industrial policy is the creative use and shaping of the market. Industrial policy fails when it overrides or ignores the market and is based upon the presumption that plans and markets are alternative means of economic coordination … The market, it has been said, is a good servant, but a bad master… effective policy towards industry depends on breaking with the plan or market dichotomy that informs conventional economic theory and is taken for granted by policy makers guided by that theory. (Best, 1990: 20)

Penelope Schoeffel , Alison Loveridge & Carl Davidson
Pages: 45-60


This paper reviews international trends and associated issues of telework (work that is performed remote from clients or employers assisted by electronic communication facilities). It examines whether telework in New Zealand is following reported trends and concludes that the forces driving telework in New Zealand are different from those elsewhere, for structural reasons which are described. The results of a small survey of New Zealand teleworkers suggest that the growth of teleworking in New Zealand is among professional and technical workers with scarce skills or in small innovative home-based businesses. The implications of these findings for New Zealand’s future development are discussed.

Angel Martinez Sanchez
Pages: 61-72


Data from Australian manufacturing industries show that high technology industries are more intensively automated that other manufacturing industries and that the technological level and product complexity of an industry are the best explanatory variables for automation intensity. The empirical evidence shows the need to modify some of the assumptions of the Utterback and Abernathy model of the innovation life cycle.

Tom Forester
Pages: 73-94


Japan is about to overtake the US to become No.1 in information technology, the key technology of our era. Starting four decades ago with transistor radios and televisions, the Japanese had by the 1970s come to dominate most areas of consumer electronics. In the 1980s, Japanese companies targeted and swiftly captured leadership of the critically important semiconductor industry. Along the way, the Japanese have gained a stranglehold over key areas of advanced manufacturing technology; they have come to reign supreme in modern office equipment such as faxes and photocopiers; and they have even become No.1 in the huge global telecommunications equipment market.

In computers and software per se, Japanese companies have been steadily moving up the so-called technology “food chain”, quietly building market share in laptop computers, workstations, mainframe computers and supercomputers, and carefully targeting next-generation computing technologies. In this process, they are being aided by fundamental economic and technology trends in the IT industry.

Larry L. Leslie & Ross I. Harrold
Pages: 95-107


In their search for greater financial independence, Australian universities are encouraging academics to commercialize the application of their knowledge and research skills. While these commercialized scholarship (COS) activities generate significant direct financial returns, they also impact indirectly upon the mainstream activities of university life. There has been little research into these indirect effects on university teaching, research and service.

This article reports a survey of academic and administrative staff of two Australian universities which compared direct and indirect costs and benefits of academics’ COS activities. A novel evaluation technique was employed to assess the extent to which interviewed staff believed that the indirect benefits of COS (such as closer relations with external bodies, prestige and spin-off effects on teaching and research) were in aggregate more significant than the direct financial effects. The technique was also used to assess indirect costs of COS, such as time lost to basic research, and the time and other university facilities consumed for which there is incomplete reimbursement. An aggregation of these indirect and direct benefits and costs suggested that COS projects could be more favourable to universities than a narrow financial analysis would suggest.

Book review
Pathways to Information. The Information, Policy Analysis and Advisory Needs of Senators and Members by Ed Parr, Alison Ransome, Alan Davies and John Warhurst (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1991), xiv + 127 + appendices, ISBN 0 644 1471 4
Jane Bortnick Griffith
Pages: 108-110

Book review
The Price of Health. Australian Governments and Medical Politics, 1910–1960 by J.A. Gillespie (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991), pp. xvii + 358, $49.95, ISBN 0 521 38183 5
Milton Lewis
Pages: 111-114

Book review
Connections. New Ways of Working in the Networked Organization by Lee Sproull and Sara Kiesler (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1991), pp. xiii + 212, $US19.95, ISBN: 0-262-19306-X
Stuart Macdonald
Pages: 115-117

Book review
The Economics of Hope, by Christopher Freeman (Pinter Publishers, London and New York, 1992) pp.xiv + 249, £37.50, ISBN 1-85567-083-6
P. Stoneman
Pages: 117-118

Book review
Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate by Brian Martin (State University of New York Press, Albany, 1991), pp. viii + 266, $US16.95, ISBN 0-7914-0538-9
D.P. Doessel
Pages: 118-120

Book review
Tournament of Lawyers. The Transformation of the Big Law Firm by Marc Galanter and Thomas Paley (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991), pp. xii + 198, $US27.50, ISBN 0-226-27877-8
Philip L. Williams
Pages: 120-122

Book review
The Knowledge Based Information Economy by Gunnar Eliasson, Stefan Fölster, Thomas Lindberg, Tomas Pousette, and Erol Taymaz (The Industrial Institute for Economic and Social Research, Stockholm, 1991), pp. 182, ISBN 91-7204-347-4
Gerhard Rosegger
Pages: 122-124

Book review
Gender on the Line. Women, the Telephone, and Community Life by Lana F. Rakow. (University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1992), pp. xiii + 165, $US24.95, ISBN 0-252-01807-9
Ann Moyal
Pages: 125-126

Book review
The Nature of Copyright: A Law of Users’ Rights by L. Ray Patterson and Stanley W. Lindberg (University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia, 1991), pp. xiii + 274, $US12.95 pbk, ISBN 0-8203-1362-9
Peter Drahos
Pages: 126-128

Book review
Knowledge and Power in a South Pacific Society by Lamont Lindstrom (Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Enquiry: Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 1990), pp. xiv + 224, $US16.95, ISBN 0-87474-365-6
Grant McCall
Pages: 128-130

Book review
Encyclopedia of Information Technology Law edited by S. Saxby (updated by releases twice yearly) (2 vols.) (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1990)
Sam Ricketson
Pages: 130-133

Book review
Beyond Southern Skies by Peter Robertson. (Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1992), pp. xi + 357, $59.95, ISBN 0-521-41408-3
Ragbir Bhathal
Pages: 133-134

Book review
Dispelling the Myth of Globalization. The Case for Regionalization, by Hazel J. Johnston. (Praeger, New York, 1991), pp. xiv + 161, $71.75, ISBN: 0-275-93795-X
D. McL. Lamberton
Pages: 135-136

Book review
A Rum State: Alcohol and State Policy in Australia, 1788-1988 by Milton Lewis, (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1992), pp. 231, $24.95, ISBN: 0-644-22024-4
R. A. Cage
Pages: 136-138

Book review
Television in Europe, by Eli Noam (Oxford University Press, New York, 1991), pp. xii + 395, 32.50, ISBN 0-19-506942-0
Jeremy Tunstall
Pages: 138-141

Book review
Research on Domestic Telephone Use edited by Ann Moyal with the assistance of Alison McGuigan. (CIRCIT, Melbourne, 1991), pp. 144, $25.00, ISSN 1-034-7917
Herbert S. Dordick
Pages: 141-142

Book review
Know-How Agreements and EEC Competition Law by Guillermo Cabanellas and Jose Massaguer (VCH Books and Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Patent, Copyright and Compeitition Law, Munich, 1991), pp. 230, $96.50, ISBN 3-527-26005-6
David Lindsay
Pages: 142-145

Book review
Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance by Donald MacKenzie (MIT Press, Cambridge MA., 1990) pp. xiii + 464, $US29.95, ISBN 0-262-13258-3
Paul K. Couchman
Pages: 145-148

Book review
Telecommunications Law — Australian Perspective edited by Mark Armstrong (Media Arm, Melbourne, 1990), pp. xxviii + 435, $78.00, ISBN 0-731-6-9555-0
Stephen Saxby
Pages: 148-149

Book review
Growth Policy in the Age of High Technology edited by Jurgen Schmandt and Robert Wilson. (Unwin Hyman, Boston, 1990) pp. xx + 470, $145.00, ISBN 0-04-445621-2
Ray Bantow
Pages: 149-151

The Discipline of Curiosity. Science in the World
Page: 152

Pages: 153-155