Prometheus: Vol 14, No 2 (1996)

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Don Lamberton & David Green
Page: 151

Shannon K. Mitchell & Robin E. Stonecash
Pages: 152-167


Australia does relatively little R&D. One possible explanation is that as a small country, Australia cannot take advantage of scale economies. A schema is provided for the role of economies of scale in R&D. Case studies from the automotive, mining, and pharmaceuticals industries show examples of successful R&D in Australia. These case studies illustrate that if Australian firms are internationally competitive, then economies of scale in production need not hamper R&D. Even when at a comparative disadvantage in producing a product, Australia may still be competitive in basic research or the initial development of ideas.

Campbell Aitken & Duncan Ironmonger
Pages: 168-178


Microwave ovens have been adopted by Australian households with remarkable speed. Over 5 million microwave ovens have been sold in Australia, and approximately 77 per cent of Australian homes contain one. It is plausible – but difficult to prove that microwave ovens have reduced time spent cooking. Most foods take less time to prepare in a microwave oven than a conventional oven; women’s cooking time has fallen during the microwave’s diffusion period, while microwaveable foods have become widely available. The microwave oven has influenced household food purchases and can reduce household energy use via several mechanisms.

Don Aitkin
Pages: 179-194


Publicly-funded research granting bodies depend for their prosperity and survival on a clear understanding of the need to make their processes and outcomes important not only to the recipients but to the Government which provides the funding. This paper examines the processes and perspective of the Australian Research Grants Committee in the last years of its existence and suggests that its abolition and replacement by a different body are understandable in those terms.

Simon Head
Pages: 195-206

Rhonda Roberts
Pages: 207-232


The drive by governments to find new means of managing technological change in the quest for competitive advantage has led to an expansion in the international construction of high technology incubators for the purpose of accelerating innovation rates. In 1987 the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) asked the Australian government to jointly build in Australia a ‘city of the future’ known as the Multifunction Polis (MFP) which would incubate high technology industries for the twenty-first century. An analysis of the curious course of MFP design negotiations sheds light on a number of important issues including cultural differences in constructing solutions to national innovation problems and the use of the promise of innovation in shaping international relations.

Nessy Allen
Pages: 233-247


Of Australia’s women scientists of the generation born before 1930 Margaret Dick was exceptional in that her contribution was made in industry. Only in the twentieth century has scientific knowledge made it possible to preserve food by controlling the microorganisms which grown on it. Dick became Chief Microbiologist with Kraft Foods Ltd., responsible for the safety standards and microbial quality of all its products. With her technical knowledge and unique practical experience she contributed to the community, to education and to the work of the various Government bodies responsible for public health. The paper describes the work and achievements of this pioneer of food technology.

Doug Pitt , John Huntley & Niall Levine
Pages: 248-263


Number portability has rapidly ascended the regulatory agenda of contemporary telecommunications public policy. As a techno-regulatory device for facilitating competition, number portability is in good currency. The experiences of the United States, Britain and Europe suggest, however, that the implementation of portability remains essentially contestable. The analysis reveals the continuing presence of stakeholder interests in this instalment of the telecommunications de-regulatory game.

Book review
Australia and the Knowledge Economy by P.J. Sheehan, Nick Pappas, Galina Tikhomirova and Paul Sinclair (Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University of Technology, Melbourne, December 1995), pp. 230, ISBN 1–87533–8499
Hans-Jürgen Engelbrecht
Pages: 264-267

Book review
Challenge to Change: Australia in 2020 edited by Richard Eckersley and Kevin Jeans (CSIRO Information Services, East Melbourne, Australia, 1994), pp. 280, A$34.95, ISBN 0–643–05675
John Howells
Pages: 267-269

Book review
The Technological Transformation of Japan: From the Seventeenth to the Twenty-first Century by Tessa Morris-Suzuki (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994), pp. x + 304, A$29.95, ISBN 0–521–42492–5
Terry Curtis
Pages: 269-272

Book review
Building Competences in the Firm: Lessons from Japanese and European Optoelectronics by Kumiko Miyazaki (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1995), pp. xvi+321, £ 40, ISBN 0 31212314 0
Morris F. Low
Pages: 272-273

Book review
Emerging Patterns of Innovation: Sources of Japan’s Technology Edge by Fumio Kodama (Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 1995), pp. xxvii + 297, ISBN 0–87584–437–5
Tessa Morris-Suzuki
Pages: 273-275

Book review
Innovation in East Asia: The Challenge to Japan by Michael Hobday (Edward Edgar, Cheltenham 1995), pp. 290, £45, ISBN I 858980178
Andrew Tylecote
Pages: 276-277

Book review
Science on the Run: Information Management and Industrial Geophysics at Schlumberger, 1920–1940 by Geoffrey C. Bowker (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1994), pp.viii+191. ISBN 0–262–02367–9
Roy MacLeod
Pages: 277-279

Book review
Rethinking Technologies edited by VerenaAnermatt Conley (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1993), pp xv+248, ISBN 0–8166–2215–9
C. J. Newell
Pages: 279-281

Book review
Future Imperfect: The Mixed Blessings of Technology in America by Howard P. Segal, (The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1994), pp. xv + 245, US$15.95 (paperback), ISBN 0–87023–882–5; US$40 (cloth), ISBN 0–87023–881–7
Ian McNicol
Pages: 282-285

Book review
The Long Wave in the World Economy: The Current Crisis in Historical Perspective by Andrew Tylecote (Routledge, London, 1993) pp. xiv + 340, $44.95, ISBN 0–415–03691–7
James Foreman-Peck
Pages: 285-287

Book review
Techno logy and Innovation in the International Economy edited by Charles Cooper (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 1994), pp. xi+239, £ 39.95, ISBN 1–85898–0275
Shantha Liyanage
Pages: 288-291

Book review
Institutional Economics and the Theory of Value: Essays in Honor of Marc R. Tool edited by Charles M.A. Clark (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston,1995), pp xi + 281, US$87.50, ISBN 0–7923–9606–5
B. H. Easton
Pages: 291-293

Book review
Australian Environmental History: Essays and Cases edited by Stephen Dovers (Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1994), pp. vi + 281, A$26.95, ISBN 0–10–553482–4
R. Ian Jack
Pages: 294-295

Book review
Sustainable Development: Science, Ethics and Public Policy edited by John Lemons and DonaLd A. Brown (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1995), pp. xvii+28I, US$149, ISBN 0–7923–3500–7
Sharon Beder
Pages: 296-297

Book review
For whom the phone rings. Residential Consumers and Telecommunications Competition by Consumers’ Telecommunications Network (CTN, Surry Hills, NSW, 1995), pp. 310, A$30.00, ISBN 0–646–23617–2
Brigitte Bauer
Pages: 297-301

Book review
Organisational Change Strategies: Case Studies of Human Resource and Industrial Relations Issues, edited by Margaret Patrickson, Val Bamberand Greg J. Bamber, (Longman Australia Pty Ltd 1995), pp. xii + 322, A$29.95, ISBN 0 582 876516
Luís Monteiro
Pages: 301-303

Book review
Publishing in the Information Age: A New Management Framework Cor the Digital Era by Douglas M. Eisenhart (Quorum Books, Westport, CT, USA), pp. xiv + 296, US$55.00, ISBN 0–89930–847–3
Colin Steele
Pages: 303-305

Book review
Mayer on the Media: Issues andArguments by Henry Mayer and edited by Rodney Tiffen, (Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 1994), pp. xxi + 201, A$22.95, ISBN 1 86373 625 5
Julianne Stewart
Pages: 306-308

Book review
Realizing the Information Future: The Internet and Beyond by the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), National Research Council (NSF) (National Academy Press, Washington, 1994), pp. vii + 285, US$24.95, ISBN 0–309–05044–8
Brian Morris
Pages: 308-311

Telstra: To Sell or not to Sell? by Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts References Committee (Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra, 1996) pp. xi + 181 + appendices, ISBN 0–642–25641–1
Page: 312

National Information Services Council: Agenda papers from the first meeting of the Council 10 August 1995 by the National Information Services Council (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1995) pp. viii + 110, ISBN 0–644–45514–4
Page: 312

Ownership of Intellectual Property in Universities by the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (AYCC, Canberra, 1995) pp. vi + 75, ISBN 0–7266–0328–7
Page: 312

World Telecommunication Development Report 1995: Information Infrastructures by the Intemational Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva, 1995) pp. x + 142 + appendices, ISBN 92–61–05662–8
Page: 312

Implementing Reforms in the Telecommunications Sector: Lessons from Experience edited by Bjorn Wellenius and Peter A. Stem (The World Bank, Washington, 1994), pp. xii + 757, US $59.95, ISBN 0–8213–2606–6
Page: 313

Information Technology and National Trade Facilitation: Making the Most of Global Trade by Robert Schware and Paul Kimberley (The World Bank, Washington, DC, 1995) pp. xv + 42, US $7.95, ISBN 0–8213–3533–2
Page: 313

Universal Access to E-Mail: Feasibility and Societal Implications by Robert H Anderson, Tora K Bikson, Sally Ann Law and Bridger M. Mitchell (RAND, Santa Monica, CA, 1995) pp. xxviii + 267, US $15.00, ISBN 0–8330–2331–4
Page: 313

Page: 314