nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒09‒28
seven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. From a Family Company to an Information and Communication Technology Multinational: the case of Amper, 1976-2003 By çngel Amado Calvo Calvo
  2. ICT Adoption, Competition and Innovation of Informal Firms in West Africa: Comparative Study of Ghana and Nigeria By Alhassan A. Karakara; Evans S. Osabuohien
  3. Using Google data to understand governments’ approval in Latin America By Nathalia Montoya; Sebastián Nieto-Parra; René Orozco; Juan Vázquez Zamora
  4. Automation and Continuous Improvement of Operational Processes within a Trading Company By Maria - Georgiana Ponea
  5. The influence of the CDO on the company?s performance with special consideration of (former) CIOs By Markus Matschi
  6. Learning from Data and Network Effects: The Example of Internet Search By Maximilian Schäfer; Geza Sapi
  7. Informational Barriers to Market Access: Experimental Evidence from Liberian Firms By Jonas Hjort; Vinayak Iyer; Golvine De Rochambeau

  1. By: çngel Amado Calvo Calvo (Departamento de Historia Econ—mica, Pol’tica y Econom’a Mundial, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain)
    Abstract: The article addresses the patterns of survival of a telecommunication company with indigenously based technology in a context of increasing market liberalization and integration, which nevertheless maintains its oligopolistic structure. As for the methodology, the narrative prevails, since it describes the vicissitudes of Amper, which are not well known as a whole, although they have been repeatedly pointed out in isolated events. This narrative of the trajectory is based on a variety of sources, which ensures the reliability of the research results. Among them, the primary ones stand out, that is, those of Amper itself, the press and the CNMV, imitating the Minutes of the Board of Directors, which are not available at present. The analysis of the trajectory is based on various sources, among which Amper's own stand out. The article is structured in four main sections, which include the factors of Amper's expansion, the internationalization of the company in its various facets, corporate partnership with multinationals and divestments and segregations.
    Keywords: ICT, Multinationals, Local technology, Internationalisation
    JEL: N L L96 O32
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Alhassan A. Karakara (University of Cape Coast, Ghana); Evans S. Osabuohien (CEPDeR, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria)
    Abstract: Purpose – This study investigates how ICT adoption enhances the innovativeness of informal firms in West Africa, using the cases of Ghana and Nigeria. Design/methods/approach – The study used the World Bank Enterprise Survey data 2014 for Ghana and Nigeria with binary logistic regression analysis to achieve this. Four different innovations are modelled. They include: first, whether a firm has innovated based on producing a new product or significantly improved product; second, whether a firm has innovated in its methods of production or services; third, whether a firm has innovated in terms of its organisational structure; and fourth, whether a firm has introduced a new and improved marketing method. Findings – The results show that the use of email, cellphone and website has a positive impact on the four types of innovations modelled. However, these effects varied markedly between Ghana and Nigeria. Firms’ spending on R&D, firm giving its employees the chance to develop their ideas and when firm competes with others; all positively impact on the four types of innovations. Thus, the study recommends that policies should be geared towards making firm have more access to ICTs to enable them to be more innovative to serve clients and the economy. Originality/value – This study differs by concentrating on how the adoption of ICTs could help firms to introduce innovations into their companies in two West African countries, namely: Ghana and Nigeria. Thus, it complements literature on informal firms’ innovation efforts in West Africa.
    Keywords: Firms, ICT adoption, Innovation, West Africa, World Bank Enterprise Survey data, Ghana, Nigeria
    JEL: D21 L60 L80 O14 O30
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Nathalia Montoya; Sebastián Nieto-Parra; René Orozco; Juan Vázquez Zamora
    Abstract: This paper studies the potential drivers of governments’ approval rates in 18 Latin American countries using Internet search query data from Google Trends and traditional data sources. It employs monthly panel data between January 2006 and December 2015. The analysis tests several specifications including traditional explanatory variables of governments’ approval rates – i.e. inflation, unemployment rate, GDP growth, output gap – and subjective explanatory variables – e.g. perception of corruption and insecurity. For the latter, it uses Internet search query data to proxy citizens’ main social concerns, which are expected to drive governments’ approval rates. The results show that the perception of corruption and insecurity, and complaints about public services have a statistically significant association with governments’ approval rates. This paper also discusses the potential of Internet search query data as a tool for policy makers to understand better citizens’ perceptions, since it provides highly anonymous and high-frequency series in real-time.
    Keywords: big data, citizens’ perceptions, governments’ approval, Latin America, social contract
    JEL: D72 H11 O3
    Date: 2020–09–28
  4. By: Maria - Georgiana Ponea (Valahia University of Targoviste)
    Abstract: The permanent evolution of the operational process is a critical need generated by the increase of the demands of the final customers as well as by the increase of the complexity of the products or services. Analyzing the process and identifying opportunities for improvement, along with the fluidization of these processes, are the essential steps that must be followed by all the companies that wish to obtain operational performance, efficiency and profit. There are countless tools that can be used in this regard and all that needs to be done is to be known and implemented properly.Automation solutions must be clearly based on the overall business strategy of an organization, in order for them to reap maximum benefits. It is about understanding the needs and seeing beyond optimizations and improvements. Mapping all departments and processes in the company is very important in this case. At the same time, the right people must be identified and trained. Employees feel threatened by new technologies, but with the help of well-structured and targeted upskilling programs, they can adapt and learn how to work with artificial intelligence, analyze data, discover and apply on-the-go solutions and take on new roles. Last but not least important, it is the strategy that will make the difference. Companies need to know their own strengths and have an overview of all processes, people and technologies to anticipate change and make decisions accordingly. Digital transformation is neither easy nor cheap, as the figures show, but it is inevitable, and the companies that strategically approach it have greater chances of being leaders in their field.
    Keywords: Effective Management, Objectives, Strategies, Automation, Process Improvement, Operational processes
    JEL: M10
  5. By: Markus Matschi (University of Salzburg Business School)
    Abstract: Digitalization has affected all commercial enterprises. New technologies and approaches are enabling further business development, but also the creation of new business models that are forcing established companies to move forward. Most large companies have now responded to this challenge by creating a new top management position: The Chief Digital Officer (CDO). Currently, more than 2/3 of the 30 largest German listed companies have created a corresponding position. The central task of this position is to implement the digital change in the companies. However, the concrete structure of this position to achieve this task is very heterogeneous. In the literature this fact is taken into account by classifying CDO types such as Accelerator, Marketer, Harmonizer. With regard to the requirements for this position, the scientific community agrees that a strong knowledge of the business model and business processes in particular is necessary - coupled with an understanding of technology. For this reason, a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is not suitable for this position, according to my many scientists, because although there is an understanding of technology, no deep knowledge of the business model is assumed. However, extensive empirical studies have not yet been conducted. In practice, however, the CDO position is currently held by former or active CIOs. Using a cause-effect model and a mixed methods approach, this study aims to clarify the unanswered question of what requirements and conditions a CDO needs in order to be successful, resulting in measurable, positive influence on the company's performance. Hence, this study should close the research gap and resolve the contradiction between existing CIO/CDO theory and CIO/CDO practice.
    Keywords: Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Digital Leadership, Executive Roles and Responsibilities
    JEL: L25 O32 M15
  6. By: Maximilian Schäfer; Geza Sapi
    Abstract: The rise of dominant firms in data driven industries is often credited to their alleged data advantage. Empirical evidence lending support to this conjecture is surprisingly scarce. In this paper we document that data as an input into machine learning tasks display features that support the claim of data being a source of market power. We study how data on keywords improve the search result quality on Yahoo!. Search result quality increases when more users search a keyword. In addition to this direct network effect caused by more users, we observe a novel externality that is caused by the amount of data that the search engine collects on the particular users. More data on the personal search histories of the users reinforce the direct network effect stemming from the number of users searching the same keyword. Our findings imply that a search engine with access to longer user histories may improve the quality of its search results faster than an otherwise equally efficient rival with the same size of user base but access to shorter user histories.
    Keywords: Competition, network effects, search engines, Big Data
    JEL: L12 L41 L81 L86
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Jonas Hjort (Columbia University); Vinayak Iyer (Columbia University); Golvine De Rochambeau (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Evidence suggests that firms in poor countries stagnate because they cannot access growth-conducive markets. We hypothesize that overlooked heterogeneity in marketing ability distorts market access. To investigate, we gave a random subset of Liberian firms vouchers for a week-long program that teaches how to sell to corporations, governments, and other large buyers. Firms that participate win about three times as many contracts, but only firms with access to the Internet benefit. We use a simple model and variation in online and offline demand to show evidence that this is because ICT dampens traditional information frictions, but not marketing barriers.
    Date: 2020–07

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