Prometheus: Vol 9, No 1 (1991)

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Gerhard Rosegger
Pages: 5-20


The ability to appropriate newly-generated technical knowledge is a key to the strategic behaviour of firms. Therefore, institutional and organisational arrangements are eventually challenged and transformed by major new (Schumpeterian) innovations. The effects of recent, revolutionary advances in information technology provide an especially striking illustration of this interplay. Although these tensions have always existed, their current dimensions are new. The seemingly inexorable development of highly-efficient, global information networks is transforming the strategic responses of firms to changing market conditions. Nowhere is this transformation more evident than in the changing role of property rights to firm-specific technical and market knowledge.

Jeremy Mitchell
Pages: 21-34


Bad debts and non-performing loans are sending shock waves round the world financial system. Simultaneously, banks and other financial institutions are having to grapple with changes induced by the internationalisation of financial markets, deregulation and technological innovation. This situation presents consumers with new opportunities in the form of a wider choice of financial institutions and products and — in theory — keener price competition. However, consumers also face new hazards, in the form of increased risk of failure of financial institutions, changes in pricing policy, aggressive marketing methods and inadequate bargaining power. The agenda of consumer issues which need to be addressed by governments and consumer organisations include problems of access, choice, information, safety and redress.

Paul A. David & W. Edward Steinmueller
Pages: 35-61


Rapid advances in information technology seem likely to change radically its usefulness for the economics profession. This paper reviews the range of existing applications and those that will probably emerge. It also considers the impact these new applications are likely to have on the discipline, and on the social sciences more generally.

George Antony & Kevin A. Parton
Pages: 62-80


The project described in the paper is the first attempt to provide an economic evaluation of export-crop research in PNG. The institutional framework is outlined to provide a context for understanding the methods used. Past performance of two agricultural research projects was assessed and then eleven ex ante research evaluations were performed. After reviewing the overall results, suggestions are made for institutionalising research evaluation procedures at various levels of the public administration system.

Nessy Allen
Pages: 81-92


By the early 1960s there was a general decline in the consumption of wool, Australia’s leading export. Prices were falling and it became clear that wool was suffering from the competitive advantages of the artificial fibres then starting to flood world markets. If the wool industry were to compete successfully, a high quality fleece would have to be produced by growers and the disadvantages of felting and shrinking would have to be overcome. Two Australian women scientists addressed these problems. One was concerned with the genetics of sheep breeding; the other worked on the physics of wool fibres to reduce their limitations in the textile product. The paper examines the major contributions made by these women in meeting the threat to the Australian wool industry posed by the development of synthetics.

Milan Zeleny
Pages: 93-101


Quality of any product or service depends on the quality of the underlying process of its design, production and delivery. Quality, as customer-defined fitness for use, is to be pulled in by an integrated (and empowered) customer, rather than pushed out by a survey data-saturated (informated) producer. There are two essential ways of approaching such an objective of continuous quality improvement. The second tries to exploit the customer separation from the production process (customer is the object of production), while the other is based on direct customer integration into the production process (customer becomes also the subject of production — the prosumer) and relies more on monitoring the customer’s actual behaviour. This paper describes and demonstrates the latter approach, integrated process management (IPM), as a more reliable, more flexible and globally more desirable system of customer-pulled quality delivery. Transnational business ecosystems require new ways of management, more attuned to the upcoming era of knowledge, integration and company-environment ecological interpenetration. These new ways of management are naturally related to the older management wisdom and experience of both Western Europe and United States before World War II, later abandoned by the West, but perpetuated and enhanced by Japan of today. As P.F. Drucker argues, the next step in the use of knowledge, in full swing since 1970, applies analysis and system to the productive process itself.

Anthony D. Owen
Pages: 102-121


The opportunity for efficiency gains in energy end-uses is viewed as perhaps the single most important factor determining future levels of energy consumption, and therefore emissions of carbon dioxide (a so-called ‘greenhouse’ gas), sulphur dioxide, and other pollutants. This paper traces the path of energy utilisation during the past few decades and identifies possible future sources of major efficiency gains. Particular emphasis is placed on the electricity generation and transportation sectors.

Grant Noble
Pages: 122-137


A review of the social aspects of domestic telephone use in Australia indicates that the area remains in its infancy, but has revealed a general positive attitude toward the telephone and some behavioural trends in Australian domestic telephone users. For example, the home telephone is used more for intrinsic reasons than instrumental ones; females generally make and receive more calls from family and friends rather than males; social extroverts use the domestic telephone most often; verbalisers are called more than visualisers; a majority feel compelled to answer a ringing telephone at home and that compulsion accompanied by possession of a telephone at work best discriminates between high and low instrumental users; many variables distinguish between heavy and light intrinsic use including the use of the telephone to contact family as well as a perception that the telephone makes life more hectic.

Julian Lowe & Martin Atkins
Pages: 138-146


A comparison of the results of surveys of Australian, US and UK technology transactions confirms earlier work on the limited role of patents and the wide range of transactions encompassed in technology purchase and sale. However, there is considerable variation between countries and between buyers and sellers of technology, concerning the nature of technology transactions and the perceived importance of proprietary knowledge. Joint venture activity also occurs across a wide spectrum of firms and is usually aimed at product development rather than fundamental research or process/manufacturing innovation. Most firms have problems with technology agreements and the complexity of negotiations is a key issue, although experience and learning over a range of transactions tends to reduce their importance.

Book review
The Rise of the Entrepreneurial State by Peter K. Eisinger (University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI, 1989), pp. ix + 378, $US 17.50, ISBN 0-2990-11874-6 (pbk.)
Jane Marceau
Pages: 147-149

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Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont R&D, 1902 – 1980 by David A. Hounshell and John Kenly Smith, Jr. (Cambridge University Press, New York, 1988), pp. xx + 756, $99.00, ISBN 0-521-32767-9
Laurie Hammond & Pete Saunders
Pages: 150-153

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A Shield in Space? Technology, Politics and the Strategic Defense Initiative by Sanford Lakoff and Herbert F. York (University of California Press, Berkeley, USA, 1989), pp xv + 409, $US35.00, ISBN 0-520-06650-2
Keith Hartley
Pages: 153-154

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Science, Technology and Reparations: Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany by John Gimbel (Stanford Universit y Press, California, 1990), pp. xv + 280, $US28.50, ISBN 0-8047-1761-3
Stuart Macdonald
Pages: 155-156

Book review
Setting Directions for Australian Research by the Australian Science and Technology Council (AGPS, Canberra, 1990), pp. xvi + 94, ISBN 0-664-12379-6
Page: 156

Book review
Technology Strategies in Australian Industry by The Centre for Technology and Social Change, University of Wollongong (Ron Johnston, Don Scott-Kemmis, TerryDarling, Fran Collyer, David Roessner and John Currie), (AGPS, Canberra, 1990), pp. vii + 89, ISBN 0-644-12441-5
Page: 156

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Small Country, Big Science by the Australian Science and Technology Council (AGPS, Canberra, 1990), pp. viii + 60, ISBN 0-644-11982-9
Peter Hall
Pages: 156-159

Book review
Travel and Tourism Report by Industries Assistance Commission (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1989), $AUS24.00
Linda K. Richter
Pages: 160-161

Book review
Science and Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry by Helen E. Longino (Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1990), pp. ix + 262, $USI3.95, ISBN 0 86287 836 4 (pbk.)
Helen Verran-Watson
Pages: 161-164

Book review
Economics of Tourism: Case Study and Analysis edited by Clem A. Tisdell, Colin J. Aislabie and P.J. Stanton (Institute of Industrial Economics, Newcastle, Australia, 1988), pp. vii + 378, ISBN 0-7259-0538-3
Pascal Tremblay
Pages: 164-166

Book review
Pollution and the Struggle for the World Product: Multinational Corporations Environment and International Comparative Advantage by H. Jeffrey Leonard (Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1988), pp. 254, $US42.50 ISBN 0-521-34042-X
Joseph H. Vogel
Pages: 167-169

Book review
When Knowledge is Power: Three Models of Change in International Organizations by Ernst B. Haas (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1990), pp. xii + 266, $US29.95, ISBN 0-520-06646-4
D. McL. Lamberton
Pages: 169-170

Book review
Frameworks of Power by Stewart R. Clegg (Sage, London, 1989), pp. xix + 297, £25, ISBN 0-8039-8161-9
Mitchell Dean
Pages: 171-174

Book review
In Sickness and in Wealth: American Hospitals in the Twentieth Century by Rosemary Stevens (Basic Books, New York, 1989), pp. xii + 432, $US 24.95, ISBN 0-465-03223-0
D. P. Doessel
Pages: 174-177

Book review
The Mind Has No Sex: Women in the origins of modern science by Londa Schiebinger (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1989), pp. viii + 347, ISBN 0-674-57623
D. Russell
Pages: 177-179

Book review
A Future of Lousy Jobs? edited by Gary Burtless (The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., 1990), pp. xiv + 242, $USlO.95, ISBN 0-8157-1180-8
Noel Whiteside
Pages: 179-181

Book review
American Science Policy since World War II by Bruce L R Smith (The Brookings Institution, Washington DC, 1990), pp. ix + 230, ISBN 0-8157-7998-4, 0-8157-7997-6 (pbk)
Fred Jevons
Pages: 181-184

Book review
A Fragile Power Scientists and the State by Chandra Mukerji (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1989), pp. xxiii + 253, ISBN 0-691-08538-2
Fred Jevons
Pages: 181-184

Book review
Cognitive Economy: The Economic Dimension of the Theory of Knowledge by Nicholas Rescher (University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 1989), pp. x +168, $US29.95, ISBN 0-8229-3617-8
D. McL. Lamberton
Pages: 184-187

Book review
Technology and the Tyranny of Export Controls: Whisper Who Dares by Stuart Macdonald (Macmillan, London, 1990), pp. xi + 206, £35, ISBN 0-333-49374-5
William B.T. Mock
Pages: 187-189

Book review
Economics and Sociology. Redefining their boundaries: conversations with economists and sociologists by Richard Swedberg (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1990), pp. viii + 361, $USI2.95, ISBN 0-691-00376-9 (pbk.)
Cyril Belshaw
Pages: 189-191

Book review
British Technology and European Industrialisation. The Norwegian Textile Industry in the Mid Nineteenth Century by Kristine Bruland (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989), pp. x + 193, $76.50, ISBN 0521 35083 2
Stuart Macdonald
Pages: 191-193

Book review
Deciphering Science and Technology — The Social Relations of Expertise edited by Ian Varcoe, Maureen McNeil and Steven Yearley (Macmillan, London, 1990), pp. xi + 256, $12.99, ISBN 0 333 46555 5 (pbk.)
Page: 193

Book review
In Science We Trust? Moral and Political issues of Science in Society edited by Aant Elzinga, Jan Nolin, Rob Pranger, Sune Sunesson (Science and Technology Policy Studies, 2, Chartwell Bratt, Kent, UK), pp. 392, ISBN 0 86238 261 0
Helen Verran-Watson
Pages: 193-196

Book review
Beyond The Technology Race: An Analysis of Technology Policy in Seven Industrial Countries by Annemieke J.M Roobeek (Elsevier Science Publishing, New York, 1990), pp. xiii + 269, $US92.25, ISBN 0-414-86637-0
Meheroo Jussawalla
Pages: 196-197

Book review
Whose Keeper? Social Science and Moral Obligation by Alan Wolfe (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1989), pp. xvii + 371, ISBN 0-520-06551-4
John Wiseman
Pages: 198-199

Book review
Our Own Time: A History of American Labor and the Working Day by David R. Roediger and Philip S. Foner (Greenwood Press, New York, 1989), pp. xii + 380, $US39.95, ISBN 0-313-26062-1
Belinda Probert
Pages: 199-201

Book review
Electronic Highways for World Trade: Issues in Telecommunication and Data Services edited by Peter Robinson, Karl P. Sauvant and Vishwas P. Govitrikar (Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado 1989), pp. xiii + 367, $AUS55.00, ISBN 0-8133-7764-1
Chee-Wah Cheah
Pages: 201-202

The Australian Institute of Health (AIH) Publications
Page: 203
Published online: 21 Oct 2008

Scitech Technology Directory, 1991 Edition compiled by Jane Ford (Scitech Publications, Canberra, 1991) pp. 250, $A110 plus $A5 postage and handling, ISSN 1030-4649
Pages: 203-204

Australian Science and Technology Communicators Register by Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1990), pp. 219, ISBN 0-644-13740-1
Page: 204

CIRCIT Working Papers Series edited by D. McL. Lamberton (Centre for International Research on Communication Technologies (CIRCIT), Melbourne), ISSN 1035-5537
Pages: 204-205

CIRCIT Policy Research Paper Series edited by William H. Melody (Centre for International Research on Communication and Information Technologies (CIRCIT), Melbourne), ISSN 1034-2117
Page: 205

Pages: 206-207