Prometheus: Vol 2, No 1 (1984)

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INNOVATION IN GASTROENTEROLOGICAL MANAGEMENT: THE CASE OF CIMETIDINE
D.P. Doessel & J.J. Sams
Pages: 3-16

ABSTRACT

Gastroenterological medicine has, in recent decades, experienced two major innovations, viz. fibre optic endoscopy (a diagnostic technology) and cimetidine, an innovation in ulcer therapy. This paper is concerned with determining the efficacy of cimetidine in reducing the number of surgical procedures for gastric and duodenal ulcer. It is found that, since the introduction of cimetidine, a statistically significant decline in gastric ulcer operations has occurred. A similar result was not obtained for persons with a diagnosis of duodenal ulcer. The picture of substitution of therapies given by this study is in sharp contrast to that depicted in clinical drug trials. This has significance for technology assessment.

THE INTRODUCTION OF CYANIDING IN NEW ZEALAND: A CASE STUDY IN THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN HISTORY
Sybil M. Jack
Pages: 17-37

ABSTRACT

This article explores the factors influencing entrepreneurial decisionmaking about the introduction of new technological processes in the gold mining companies of nineteenth century New Zealand. It attempts to estimate the significance of scientific discoveries to technological advance, and the influence of government, economic circumstances and patent laws. In this way, it seeks to explain the retardation of the introduction of cyaniding as a combination of scientific and expert doubt about the effects of cyanide, the entrepreneurial problem of distinguishing the one young swan among the ducklings, and the pricing policy of the patent owners. It indicates briefly the effects that the introduction of cyaniding had on the structure of the gold mining industry.

THE ADVENT OF STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT IN CSIRO: A HISTORY OF CHANGE
Joe Flood
Pages: 38-72

ABSTRACT

Australia’s major government research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), has recently changed its style of management. This paper traces the development of CSIRO from an institutional research organization to a body taking responsibility for Australia’s strategic civilian research, from an organizational perspective. The problems that this change might create in disturbing the organizational balance are outlined. Possible remedies to counter-balance and stabilize the strategic bureaucratic trend are innovative forms of organizational structure, the strengthening of individual incentives to perform applied work, increased exposure of CSIRO scientists to external influences, and improved community involvement in CSIRO’s decision-making structure.

CORONARY INTENSIVE CARE FOR CARDIAC INFARCTION: A CASE STUDY OF THE DIFFUSION OF HIGH TECHNOLOGY IN THE AUSTRALIAN HOSPITAL SECTOR
Karen Ann Sampford
Pages: 73-92

ABSTRACT

Although technological change processes in agriculture and industry have been extensively studied, studies of technological change processes in the service sector are, to date, limited in number. In this paper, findings of a case study of the diffusion of coronary care facilities in the Australian hospital sector are presented and discussed. Comparisons are drawn with other studies of innovation and diffusion in both profit and not-for-profit settings in this country and overseas. A review of the history of treatment for coronary heart disease serves to emphasise that technologies, thought to be of worth, are too often introduced only to be later discarded. Comprehensive technology assessment is proposed as a viable alternative to the ad hoc approach which presently characterises the adoption of medical innovations.

RECENT TRENDS IN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT POLICIES FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
Richard Joseph
Pages: 93-111

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the rhetoric underlying policies for technological innovation in Australia over the past five or six years. The analysis is based on two approaches to policies for technological innovation which compete in the political arena: non-interventionism and economic nationalism. These approaches are completely general and aim to outline the scope of the rhetoric surrounding policies for technological innovation. Major policy statements and reports of the Liberal government prior to the federal election in March 1983 are analysed in terms of the two approaches, as is the Science and Technology Platform and pre-election statements of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). Recent policy initiatives taken by the Labor government are also reviewed. It is concluded that the rhetoric of the non-interventionist approach has dominated the development of policies for technological innovation up to March 1983. The ALP rhetoric is more in line with economic nationalism and this is seen to provide some challenges to the implementation and possible success of more direct measures to stimulate technological innovation. However, the most recent policy initiatives taken by the new government suggest that if the rhetoric of the ALP platform and pre-election statements is to be put into practice, much more needs to be done.

THE ATS-1 COMMUNICATIONS MODEL: QUASI-MASS AUDIO NETWORKS FOR EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICE
James C. Lange
Pages: 112-127

ABSTRACT

The ATS-1 satellite is used for social service audioconference networks in the Pacific Islands. Channel limitations restrict the communication efficiency of these networks, but not so badly as to drop them below accepted standards for telecommunication systems. Emulating the A TS-1 model over higher quality satellite and/or terrestrial links can bring great social benefit at considerable cost savings in comparison with standard common carrier service. Design, planning and training considerations for such networks are suggested by the A TS-1 model.

EXOGENOUS FACTORS IN ECONOMIC THEORY
D. McL. Lamberton
Pages: 128-133

ABSTRACT

Economists have frequently treated technological change as exogenous, as having important economic consequences but not being controlled by economic forces. This justifies reporting a current attempt to develop an international, interdisciplinary discussion of exogenous factors in economics.

Book review
Sleepers Wake! Technology and the Future of Work by Barry Jones (Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1983: first published 1982) pp. xii + 285, $9.99, ISBN: 0-195-54453-6
Chris Freeman
Pages: 134-135

Book review
Solar Energy Patents by Australian Patent Office (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1983) pp. vi + 306, $21.95, ISBN: 0-644-02453-4
Ian Lowe
Pages: 135-138

Book review
Telecommunications and Economic Development by Robert J. Saunders, Jeremy J. Warford and Bjorn Wellenius, (Johns Hopkins University Press for the World Bank, Baltimore, 1983) pp. 395, $US32.50 (hb), $14.95 (pb), ISBN: 0-801-82828-7 (hb), 0-801-82829-3 (pb)
Meheroo Jussawalla
Pages: 138-140

Book review
The Phone Book. The Future of Australia’s Communications on the Line by Ian Reinecke and Julianne Schultz, (Penguin Books, Ringwood, 1983) pp. 270, $6.95, ISBN: 0-140-06710-8
John Langdale
Pages: 140-141

Book review
Revolution in Miniature. The History and Impact of Semiconductor Electronics Second Edition by Ernest Braun and Stuart Macdonald (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1982) pp. viii + 247, $A15.50 (pb), ISBN: 0-521-24701-2 (hb), 0-521-28903-3 (pb)
Richard C. Levin
Pages: 141-143

Book review
Videotex in Australia: Interactive Information Services A report to the Prime Minister by ASTEC, prepared by the Technological Change Committee (AGPS, Canberra, 1983) pp. 91, ISBN: Q-644-02691-X
Ann Hutcheson Reid
Pages: 143-147

Book review
Mining and Australia edited by W.H. Richmond and P.C. Sharma, (University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, 1983) pp. xiv + 320, $24.95 (hb), $14.95 (pb), ISBN: 0-702-21742-5 (hb), 0-702-21752-2 (pb)
B. Brady
Pages: 147-150

Book review
Incentives for Innovation in Australian Industry Report by the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC) (AGPS, Canberra, 1983) pp. iv + 23, $1.65, ISBN: 0-644-02703-7
Julian Lowe
Pages: 150-152

Book review
Telecommunications: Pressures and Policies for Change by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, Paris, 1983) pp. 142, $20.50, ISBN: 9-264-12428-4
Marcellus S. Snow
Pages: 153-155

Book review
Technological Change and Employment. A Report to the Prime Minister by ASTEC, prepared by the Technological Change Committee (AGPS, Canberra, 1983) pp. 168, ISBN: 0-644-02657-X
G.W. Ford
Pages: 156-158