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Barriers to Networked Governments: Evidence from Europe
Rebecca Eynon & William H. Dutton
Progress towards realizing the full potential of ‘e‐government’—using digital technologies to improve public services and government–citizen engagements—has been slower and less effective than the technologies’ take‐up in spheres such as e‐commerce. Evidence from across Europe reported here, including an online survey and case studies, indicates a significant reason has been an overly narrow focus on substituting electronic for traditional services. Theoretical and empirical perspectives on barriers to e‐government identified (e.g. poor coordination; workplace and organizational inflexibility) suggest greater attention should be given to supporting organization innovations to achieve maximum benefits from networking in the public sector.
The (Un)Happiness of Knowledge and the Knowledge of (Un)Happiness: Happiness Research and Policies for Knowledge‐based Economies
This paper explores the current state and interfaces of two broad policy discourses, i.e. that of policies for knowledge‐based economies (KBEs) and policy implications of happiness research, which so far have exhibited little explicit cross‐referencing. I first review the state of ‘mainstream’ knowledge policy associated with the OECD, the related but somewhat separate literature on information society indicators, and some ‘non‐mainstream’ knowledge policy analysis. This is followed by a brief overview of some of the major policy implications and controversies in happiness research. Next, I discuss major interfaces of the two policy discourses. They mostly concern the nexus of education, work and innovation. I also illustrate the diversity of beliefs and values about some core elements of KBEs in a group of what are usually regarded as similar countries, and advocate the use of subjective variables to capture these differences. The main argument put forward in this paper is that policies for KBEs should be informed by insights from happiness research.
Information and Communication Technology and the Places Left Behind
Michael I. Luger & Nicholas C. Maynard
This article focuses on the critical role ICT policy design and implementation can play in developing a knowledge‐based economy in distressed US communities. Using a multiple case study research design, the study tests three hypotheses: (1) linkages among government, education and industry are a critical success factor for ICT interventions; (2) due to the long‐term nature of ICT, vision and leadership are also critical; and (3) investments in technology infrastructure must be part of a larger local planning process to succeed. These hypotheses are supported, but the strength of the article is in the details about how communities crafted unique responses to critical issues.
The Role of Knowledge Accumulation in Health and Longevity: The Puzzling Case of Suicide
Ruth F. G. Williams & D. P. Doessel
Many Western countries have experienced the ‘rectangularisation of the [demographic] survival curve’, leading to a rise in life expectancy. This process is the result of falling death rates, which leads to increasing longevity. In this article, suicide is placed within the general perspective of declining All Causes mortality. It is shown that suicide is atypical when compared with other causes of death. Which ever way it is measured, whether by an unweighted headcount measure or a weighted Potential Years of Life Lost measure, the suicide rate is not subject to secular decline. In fact, it has become (numerically) a relatively more important cause of death. This article puts some emphasis on the arguments by Joel Mokyr, an economic historian, about the importance of knowledge accumulation. It is argued that, in the case of suicide, there is a deficiency in knowledge of the causes of suicide and the prevention of suicide.
The Internationalisation of the Small and Medium‐sized Firm
In the last few decades, SMEs have become increasingly active in international markets. SMEs do not necessarily follow a pattern of incremental internationalisation as they have a wide range of options and many are opportunistic. A large postal survey was conducted in five countries—the UK, France, Finland, Australia and Mexico. Many similarities in internationalisation strategy were found among these companies.