Prometheus: Vol 13, No 2 (1995)

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Joshua S. Gans
Pages: 169-183


The containerisation revolution, despite being centered on a relatively simple technology, did not take over the cargo shipping industry until the 1960s. This paper argues that the timing of its introduction was determined by organisational as opposed to technological factors. This argument is developed by looking at the events leading up to the introduction of containers into cargo shipping. The rapid spread of containers and the role of standards are also considered. Nonetheless, given the nature of finding coherent organisational patterns and complementarities, it is argued that informational externalities were most probably responsible for any delay in the container system’s introduction.

D. M. Lamberton
Pages: 184-190


If the broad purpose of regulation is to replicate the results of a competitive market, we need to be clear what are those results. It is a reflection of the difficulty of that task that competition has been given so many labels, ranging from perfect to managed; and can relate to products, processes, locations, firms, nations, technologies and systems.

Modelling in which the collection, processing and use of information is continuous is needed. This approach has to be carried into the design of regulatory systems. In particular, the information processes in which the regulator and firm participate must not be locked away in ‘black boxes’. Learning, knowing and having information are complex matters, giving rise to lock-in and diversity, and affecting key concepts like technology, information, cost and profit.

Stephen Hill
Pages: 191-204


The transformation of the interface between academic institutions and their environment can be depicted in terms of moving boundaries: the academic-commercial, managerial and university work. These movements represent fundamental transformations of universities, in structure, referent external objectives, meaning and work. It is of great importance to realise that whilst these changes may appear from close up to be unique to changes within the Australian scene, they are not. Instead, the movement of the three boundaries is set within shifts that are currently going on within global society. Representing as they do, deep penetration of commercial market parameters into the very premises of acadaemia, these changes represent the impact of postmodernism on contemporary academic work.

L.B. Connelly & D.P. Doessel
Pages: 205-224


The Commonwealth Government has recently implemented a scheme which involves financial incentives for general practitioners to relocate from urban areas to rural/ remote areas of Australia. The purpose of this scheme is to redress differential provision and utilisation of general practice services across space. This paper describes systematic differences in the prices and quantities of general practitioner services and general practitioner incomes provided in different regions of the State of Queensland for 1991–92. More specifically, it is found that prices and incomes are higher in more remote regions of the state. The paper concludes with a consideration of an alternative policy, i.e. relocation could be effected by the dissemination of information on the regional differences in prices and incomes.

John Henningham
Pages: 225-238


The new technology which has revolutionised newsrooms over the last decade has been generally accepted by Australian journalists, who believe the quality of their work has improved and time savings have occurred. Older journalists are somewhat less enthusiastic, but when controlling for age there are no sex differences in reactions to technology. Journalists who are stressed and those who admit to being cynics are less sanguine about the benefits of technology, while those who are job-satisfied and optimistic about the future are more pro-technology.

Joy Hooton
Pages: 239-247


Unlike other Western democracies, Australia makes negligible provision for scholars, who work largely outside institutions, notwithstanding the fact that much valuable research is produced and published by such individuals. This exclusion is symptomatic of a much grosser distortion in the general administration of research funding.

This paper addresses firstly the apparent perception of the nature and value of research on the part of the Department of Employment, Education and Training and their political masters in the context of government policy as a whole in the tertiary sector; secondly, the impact of this policy on the life of the academic, especially the academic in the humanities and social sciences; and thirdly the likely impact of the policy on the nature and quality of current research.

R.A. Joseph
Pages: 248-266


This paper presents an historical account of the reforms to New Zealand’s telecommunications policy which have occurred since 1986. The history is set around three stages: the period leading up to the review of the New Zealand Post Office in 1986; the corporatisation and subsequent privatisation of Telecom New Zealand in 1990; and, the implementation of the so-called ‘light-handed’ regulatory regime since 1990. This paper focuses on the period up to 1990 to address the question why telecommunications reform took place in New Zealand. It is argued that the ideological disposition of the New Zealand Treasury was very influential in determining the outcomes of the reform process. This paper also makes some observations on the broader political aspects of the reform process.

Book review
Evolutionary and Neo-Schumpeterian Approaches to Economics edited by Lars Magnusson (Kluwer, Boston, 1994), ppviii + 326, £ 74.95, ISBN 0-7923-9385-6 (hbk)
John Nightingale
Pages: 267-270

Book review
Whither Socialism? by Joseph E. Stiglitz (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1994), pp. xiii + 338, ISBN 0-262-19340-X
D. McL. Lamberton
Pages: 270-272

Book review
Organizational Change: A Processual Approach by Patrick Dawson (Paul Chapman Publishing, London, 1994), pp. xii + 211, £14.95, ISBN 1-85396-237-6
I. L. Mangham
Pages: 272-274

Book review
The Networked Nation by the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC) (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1994) pp. iii + 82, A$8.95, ISBN 0644-35058-X
John E. Bowes
Pages: 274-276

Book review
Information Acumen. The Understanding and Use of Knowledge in Modern Business edited by Lisa Bud-Frierman (Routledge, London, 1994), pp. x + 254, £40, ISBN 0-415-07788-5
Stuart Macdonald
Pages: 276-277

Book review
Advance Australia Where? (The 1994 Boyer Lectures) by Kerry Stokes (ABC Books, Sydney, Australia, 1994)pp. 77, A$15.95, ISBN 0-7333-0413-3
John W. Houghton
Pages: 278-280

Book review
Global Communication and International Relations by Howard H. Frederick (Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California, 1993), pp. xvi + 287. A$35.95. ISBN 0-534-19344-7
P. Putnis
Pages: 280-283

Book review
Satellite Television in Western Europe by Richard Collins, revised edition, Academic Research Monograph: I, (John Libby & Company Ltd., London, England, 1992) pp.v+125, £ 18.00, ISBN 0-86196-388-1
Haruko Yamashita
Pages: 283-285

Book review
The Uses of Life: A History of Biotechnology by Robert Bud (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993), pp. xvii + 299, A$99.00, ISBN 0-521-38240-8
Brian Balmer
Pages: 285-287

Book review
The Golem: What Everyone Should Know About Science by Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994), pp. xvii + 164, A$15.95, ISBN 0-521-47736-0 (pbk)
John Bekkers
Pages: 287-289

Book review
Organisational Decision Making and Information by Mairéad Browne (Ablex, Norwood, New Jersey, 1993), pp. xiii + 256, A$61.95, ISBN 1-56750-017-X (paper), A$125.95, ISBN 0-89391-870-9 (cloth)
Stuart Macdonald
Pages: 289-291

Book review
Wire & Wireless. A History of Telecommunications in New Zealand 1860–1987 by A. C. Wilson (The Dunmore Press, Palmerston North, 1994) pp. 235, A$29.95 ISBN 0-86469-210-2
Kevin T. Livingston
Pages: 291-294

Book review
Taking the Risk out of Democracy by Alex Carey, edited by Andrew Lohrey (University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 1995), xvii + 214pp, $22.95, ISBN 0 868 40 358X
D. McL. Lamberton
Pages: 294-295

Book review
Trends in World Communication: On Disempowerment and Self-Empowerment by. Cees J. Hamelink (Southbound & Third World Network, Penang, Malaysia, 1994), pp. 168, US$ 18.00, ISBN 983-9054-06-6
Rohan Samarajiva
Pages: 295-298

Book review
Growth Through Competition, Competition Through Growth: Strategic Management and the Economy of Japan, by Hiroyuki Odagiri (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994), pp xv + 356, A$120 (hb), A$44.95 (pb), ISBN 0-19-828655-4
William R. Purcell
Pages: 298-302

Book review
Made in Japan by Akio Morita with Edwin M. Reinhold and Mitsuko Shimomura (Harper Collins, London, 1994) pp. vii + 342, A$16.95, ISBN 0-00-638342-4 (paper)
John Laurent
Pages: 302-304

Book review
New Technology-Based Firms in the 1990s edited by Ray Oakey (Paul Chapman Publishing, London, 1994), pp. vi + 2 18, £ 39.95. ISBN 1-85396-274-0; High-Technology New Firms: Variable Barriers to Growth by Ray Oakey (Paul Chapman Publishing, London, 1995), pp. ix + 134, £ 25.95. ISBN 1-85396-239- 2
Neal Ryan
Pages: 305-308

Book review
Knowledge Societies by Nico Stehr (Sage Publications, London, 1994), xxii + 291pp, $39.95, ISBN 0-839-7892-8
D. McL. Lamberton
Pages: 309-310

Book review
History of International Broadcasting by James Wood (Peter Peregrinus Ltd. in association with The Science Museum, London, 1992), IEE History of Technology Series 19, pp. 258, £18.00, ISBN 0-86341-281-5
Mary Cawte
Pages: 310-312

Book review
The Age of Multimedia and Turbonews by Jim Willis (Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT., 1994), pp.xi + 233, US $18.95, ISBN 0-275-94378-X
Dean Noacco
Pages: 312-314

Book review
Sociomedia: Multimedia, Hypermedia and the Social Construction of Knowledge edited by Edward Barrett (The MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1994), pp. vii + 580, ISBN 0-262-52193-8 (pbk) or 0-262-02346-6 (hbk)
Bernard McKenna
Pages: 314-318

Book review
Research with a View to Implementation by D. J. Gouws (Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, 1994), pp. 231, ISBN 0-9583801-5-5
Case Studes in Research with a View to Implementation edited by D. J. Gouws (Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, 1994), pp. 248, ISBN 0-9583801-4-7

Tom Winston
Pages: 318-319

Book review
Capitalism, Culture and Decline in Britain 1750-1990 by W. D. Rubinstein (Routledge, London, 1994), pp. viii + 184, A$27.95, ISBN 0-415-03719-0
James Foreman-Peck
Pages: 319-321

Book review
Australian government purchasing policies: buying our future, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (AGPS, Canberra, 1994), pp. xxxix + 181, $14.95, ISBN 0-644-33307-3
Jenny Stewart
Pages: 321-323

Book review
The Ordering of Time: From the Ancient Computus to the Modern Computer by Arno Borst, translated by Andrew Winnard (Polity Press, Cambridge, 1993) pp. x + 168, $37.95, ISBN 0-7456-125 8-X (pbk)
Guy Freeland
Pages: 323-326

Book review
Women, information technology, & scholarship edited by H. Jeanie Taylor, Cheris Kramarae and Maureen Ebben (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1993), pp. 127, US $10, ISBN 1-882875-00-1
Ann Moyal
Pages: 326-327

Ann Moyal
Pages: 328-329