Prometheus: Vol 32, No 2 (2014)

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Editorial
By Stuart Macdonald page: 125 - 126 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 32, Issue 2 SKU: 0810-90281005429
Paper
By Ali A. Al-Kandari This study uses diffusion of innovations theory to examine the influence of Muslim religious scholars on internet diffusion in Saudi Arabia. It applies content analysis to the fatwa, the religious edicts that Muslim religious scholars issue, to explore fatwa decisions relating to the internet since its launch in Saudi Arabia in 1999. There are 34 fatwa in total, 11 with approving decisions, 11 with disapproving ones, and 12 with conditionally approving decisions. Those who issue approving fatwa argue that it helps to spread the word of Allah and that if Muslims do not exploit the opportunities provided by the internet, then non-Muslims and non-believers will use it for evil. To explain their disapproving fatwa, other scholars argue that the internet corrupts people. The study discusses the impact of religion and religious scholars on the dissemination of communication technologies in Saudi society. It also predicts a pattern of opinions that scholars may be expected to adopt on the introduction of any new communication technology that is culturally controversial. page: 127 - 144 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 32, Issue 2 SKU: 0810-9028998929
Paper
By Ralph Schroeder While much has been written about the technological, economic and regulatory aspects of search engines, their impact on everyday life has been largely overlooked. This essay argues that this is mainly because the role of information and knowledge has been poorly theorized in the social sciences in terms of how search engines are actually used. One way to make a start on this topic is to bring to bear two theoretical frameworks from the social study of technology – large technological systems and the domestication of technology. These allow us to see how search engines have become an infrastructure at a time when, on the one hand, the uses of the Internet as a system have become pervasive and, on the other, information seeking in the home has become a routine activity in everyday life. Several studies of search behaviour have identified the main patterns of search. What emerges is the dominant role played by Google, and that the vast majority of searches are related to leisure. The paper asks whether Google plays a gatekeeping function, and how it shapes the information we use in everyday life. page: 145 - 160 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 32, Issue 2 SKU: 0810-9028984469
Paper
By Alireza Javanmardi Kashan Strategic capability development refers to the renewal of the organisational capabilities which are sources of competitive advantage. The aim of this paper is to examine how strategic capability and competitive advantage build up over time. Recent literature points to the integration of dynamic capability and ambidexterity perspectives in explaining organisational capability development. Literature analysis reveals the role of knowledge integration and product innovation in integrating dynamic capability and ambidexterity. However, little attention has yet been paid to knowledge integration within innovation projects as a context for capability development. Accordingly, this paper aims to develop a conceptual framework for strategic capability development focusing on the role of knowledge integration within product innovation projects. This framework contributes to identifying and emphasising the role of micro processes in capability renewal which in turn enhances our understanding of strategic capability development. page: 161 - 180 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 32, Issue 2 SKU: 0810-9028957911
Paper
By Mariano Zukerfeld The Argentinean software and information services (SIS) sector has grown steadily over the last decade. However, academics, policy makers and managers agree that the shortage of computer science (CS) degree-holders has been (and is) jeopardizing future growth. This paper depicts the situation of formal education in CS and related areas in Argentina, providing the necessary basis from which to call into question the assumption that the primary driving force of a powerful SIS sector is CS graduates. After presenting figures of enrollment, graduates and researchers, we find that while it is true that there is a mismatch between the trends of formal education in CS and that of Argentinean SIS, it is not clear at all that the sector is limited because of that. First, international comparisons with the US and the UK show that the proportion of graduates is not necessarily the main driver of a highly innovative SIS sector. Secondly, qualitative sources underline the relevance of informal learning in the acquisition of the software skills actually used by workers. Additionally, the particular evolution of SIS wages could be limiting the inflow of graduates into the sector. page: 181 - 201 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 32, Issue 2 SKU: 0810-9028957912
Paper
By Sandrine Thérèse When the work and reputation of scientists suffer ritual degradation, a range of tactics can be deployed to resist and rework the psychological and social impacts. Five key resistance tactics to degradation in science are revealing degradation rituals, redeeming the reputation of the targeted scientist, reframing the degradation as unfair, redirecting attention to other domains, and refusing to cooperate with the rituals. These tactics are illustrated through three case studies of scientists targeted for conducting research threatening to the interests of powerful groups. page: 203 - 220 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 32, Issue 2 SKU: 0810-9028969022