Prometheus: Vol 19, No 2 (2001)

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The Drive to Codify: Implications for the Knowledge-based Economy
Joanne Roberts
Pages: 99-116


This paper critically explores the forces driving the codification of knowledge, together with the implications of codification for the evolution of the knowledge-based economy. It is argued that tacit knowledge is neglected in the drive to codify with important consequences for the process of knowledge creation and innovation. The drive to codify knowledge is briefly considered in the context of higher education and then through the practice of knowledge management within firms. The paper is exploratory in nature and seeks to outline policy concerns and directions for further research.

Learning from Management Consultants: The Lesson for Management Researchers
Stuart MacDonald & Mike Simpson
Pages: 117-133


The forces pushing management researchers inexorably closer to the managers they study are strong, strengthening and generally welcomed. This paper sees disadvantages in such proximity and common interest. Much of the work of management researchers is not rigorous, not sensible, and not useful, even to the managers it is supposed to serve. While it is probably impractical to suggest that management researchers keep their distance from managers, they may have something of value to learn from management consultants. Consultants are able to work closely with their clients without being overwhelmed by them. This is not to suggest that the efforts of consultants are scholarly, but then they do not pretend to be.

Gender and the Information Work Force: New Zealand Evidence and Issues
Hans-Jürgen Engelbrecht
Pages: 135-145


This paper documents the growth and gender composition of New Zealand’s information work force over the period 1976‐96. By 1996, about 55% of the female work force was employed in information occupations, compared to 40% of the male work force. The share of high-skilled information workers increased substantially over time, and faster for females than males. This suggests faster upskilling of the female information work force. The paper also briefly comments on some related, but much narrower, ‘knowledge worker’ concepts, and on some of the problems encountered if one wants to relate the work force measures to endogenous growth theory. The concluding comments provide a wish list of further research.

Kalgoorlie as the Global Centre for Gold Metallurgical Innovation 1902-1907
Richard G. Hartley
Pages: 147-160


Faced with the problem of how to process valuable refractory sulphide ore in the early 1900s, Kalgoorlie mining engineers and metallurgist, and their consultants, borrowed ideas from a variety of international sources to develop new equipment and new procedures. This paper examines the sources of these innovations and how they spread with remarkable speed through the medium of the tight-knit group of international metallurgical consultants. The inter-relationship between international technological transfer and increased local inventiveness, stimulated by the rapid changes in technology, and the opportunities and limitations experienced by Australian metallurgical inventers in the 1900s are also examined.

Cultural Diversity and Australian Commercial Television Drama: Policy, Industry and Recent Research Contexts
Harvey May
Pages: 161-170


Media studies research in the 1990s illustrated an incongruity between cultural diversity in the Australian community and the representation of that diversity on commercial television screens. Australian drama in particular received much criticism for its seemingly ‘Anglo’ portrayal of Australian society. Most of this former research was based on program content analysis and critical approaches to studying the media. From the mid-1990s, anecdotal evidence suggested an improvement in the casting of actors from culturally diverse backgrounds. This paper contextualises policy and industry developments in the 1990s related to cultural diversity and presents new research undertaken within the commercial television drama industry. In order to determine the status of cultural diversity and commercial television drama at the end of the 1990s, a casting survey of all Australian commercial drama programs broadcast in 1999 was carried out. This was complemented by interviews with industry personnel and a two-week content analysis of programming. The research establishes the degree of casting for actors from culturally diverse backgrounds and offers explanations for both improvements made over the previous years and the continuing obstacles faced by some groups in gaining a place in our popular drama programs.

Book reviews
Pages: 171-190

Contributors to this Issue
Page: 191