nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒01‒02
ten papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. R&D Subsidies and Technological Progress in the Chinese ICT Manufacturing Industry By Li, Junjun
  2. Identifying and characterising AI adopters: A novel approach based on big data By Flavio Calvino; Lea Samek; Mariagrazia Squicciarini; Cody Morris
  3. Liberation Technology? The Impact of Broadband Internet on Mass Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa By Guiffard, Jean-Baptiste
  4. Analysing ICTs Potential for Rural Women’s Empowerment in Central Asia through the Capability Approach By Serebryakova, Evgeniya
  5. Information technology governance: An exploratory study in moroccan public sector By Aadil Belhaj; Jamal Zahi
  6. Rights in the digital age: Challenges and ways forward By OECD
  7. Scenarios for the Industry 4.0 ecosystem development By Harno, Jarmo
  8. Deployment of high-speed broadband in rural areas in the EU: Evolution of the investment gap and alternatives to reduce it By Ferrandis, Jesús; Ramos, Sergio; Feijóo, Claudio
  9. A Configurational Approach to Understanding the Drivers of Mobile Phone Usage in Developing Countries By Evelyn Odonkor; Jessie Pallud
  10. Digital Technologies for Digital Innovation: Unlocking Data and Knowledge to Drive Organizational Value Creation By Koppe, Timo

  1. By: Li, Junjun
    Abstract: In the past decades, the Chinese ICT industry has received fiscal, taxation, and financial policy support in technology R&D. This research adopts causal inference methods for mediation analysis with interaction to empirically examine the direct and indirect effects of R&D subsidies in the Chinese ICT manufacturing industry. We found that the impact of R&D subsidies on private R&D expenditure and innovation outputs is positive and statistically significant. However, higher subsidy intensity crowds out private R&D expenditures. Second, in the Eastern region, firms invest more in R&D but more in incremental rather than radical innovation. And, the enterprise average private R&D expenditure is insufficient in the ECE sector. Finally, openness and information levels positively contribute to innovation outputs. Based on the findings, we propose several policy suggestions.
    Keywords: R&D subsidies,innovation output,private R&D investment,Chinese ICT manufacturing,causal mediation analysis
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Flavio Calvino; Lea Samek; Mariagrazia Squicciarini; Cody Morris
    Abstract: This work employs a novel approach to identify and characterise firms adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI), using different sources of large microdata. Focusing on the United Kingdom, the analysis combines data on Intellectual Property Rights, website information, online job postings, and firm-level financials for the first time. It shows that a significant share of AI adopters is active in Information and Communication Technologies and professional services, and is located in the South of the United Kingdom, particularly around London. Adopters tend to be highly productive and larger than other firms, while young adopters tend to hire AI workers more intensively. Human capital appears to play an important role, not only for AI adoption but also for firms’ productivity returns. Significant differences in the characteristics of AI adopters emerge when distinguishing between firms carrying out AI innovation, those with an AI core business, and those searching for AI talent.
    Keywords: artificial intelligence, productivity, technology adoption
    Date: 2022–12–19
  3. By: Guiffard, Jean-Baptiste
    Abstract: I use the gradual arrival of submarine Internet cables on the coast and the route of the backbone cables network to demonstrate how high-speed Internet (fixed and mobile jointly considered) has an impact on political mobilization in Africa. I obtained robust difference-indifferences estimates using Afrobarometer data from ten countries, which reveal a positive effect on the likelihood of participating in a protest. Since having access to high-speed Internet allows access to social networks and other content, two mechanisms are explored to explain this positive impact: information and coordination channels. The main explanatory channel appears to be the enhanced coordination.
    Keywords: Governance,Development,Political Mobilization,Telecom,High-speed Internet,Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Serebryakova, Evgeniya
    Abstract: The role of ICTs for women’s empowerment in the development context is increasingly being discussed in the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). Studies have been conducted investigating the empowering potential of ICTs. Yet research on the Central Asian region is lacking, in particular regarding the most vulnerable group of people in the region: rural women. This paper aims to shed light on this gap by conducting an exploratory analysis using an adapted version of Kleine’s Choice Framework, which is based on Amartya Sen’s capability approach, using secondary data sources. Through a focus on the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, the adapted version of the Choice Framework is used as a mapping tool to identify the barriers and opportunities that ICTs can have for rural women’s empowerment in the region. The findings show that a lack of access and infrastructure of ICTs remains the biggest barrier in the region, with the exception of Kazakhstan. Where ICTs are being used, this is likely to take place through mobile phones, reflecting a common tendency throughout developing countries. Additionally, the local context regarding traditional gender roles, and social norms constrains women’s agency, in combination with an increasingly oppressive political environment. This combination of factors means that ICTs do not currently appear to present an empowering tool for rural women in the region.
    Date: 2022–11–18
  5. By: Aadil Belhaj (Université Hassan 1er [Settat]); Jamal Zahi (Université Hassan 1er [Settat])
    Abstract: Increased investments in information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) have pushed private companies as well as public sector organizations to adopt IT governance frameworks. This thesis is interested in studying how Moroccan public organizations have governed their IT in a context of regionalization and administrative decentralization. Using an interpretivist posture, we conducted a qualitative multiple case study in which four Moroccan public organizations were explored in depth. Data collection was based primarily on semi-structured interviews with the heads of the IT functions, and on documentary sources relating to each case. For the data analysis, we used a thematic content analysis. Our analysis sheds light on the phenomenon of IT governance by putting into perspective the modes of organization of the IT function, IT decision-making processes, and by identifying a base of eleven governance mechanisms (structures, processes, and relational mechanisms) to be favored for public organizations in the Moroccan context in order to ensure alignment between IT / Business and in order to provide the expected IT value.
    Abstract: L'accroissement des investissements liés aux technologies de l'information (TI) et aux systèmes d'information (SI) a poussé les entreprises privées ainsi que les organisations du secteur public à adopter des cadres de gouvernance des TI. Cet article s'intéresse à étudier comment les organisations publiques marocaines ont gouverné leur TI dans un contexte de régionalisation et de décentralisation administrative. En s'inscrivant dans une posture interprétativiste, nous avons mené une étude qualitative par étude de cas multiple où quatre organisations publiques marocaines ont été explorées en profondeur. La collecte de données s'est basée principalement sur les entretiens semi-directifs réalisés avec les responsables des fonctions informatiques, et sur des sources documentaires relevant de chaque cas. Pour l'analyse de données, nous avons fait recours à une analyse de contenu thématique. Notre analyse fournit un éclairage sur le phénomène de la gouvernance des TI par la mise en perspective des modes d'organisation de la fonction informatique, des processus de prise de décision TI, et par l'identification d'une base de onze mécanismes de gouvernance (structures, processus, et mécanismes relationnels) à favoriser pour les organisations publiques dans le contexte marocain afin d'assurer l'alignement entre les objectifs TI et les objectifs métiers et afin d'apporter la valeur TI escomptée.
    Keywords: IT governance,Public organizations,Morocco,IT governance mechanisms,Decentralization.,Gouvernance des TI,Organisations publiques,Maroc,Mécanismes de gouvernance des TI,Décentralisation.
    Date: 2022
  6. By: OECD
    Abstract: As our online and offline lives become increasingly interwoven, policy makers have to consider how to protect individual interests and rights. This paper considers the impact of digital transformation on internationally recognised human rights, legal and constitutional rights, and domestically protected interests. It sets out three case studies, freedom of expression, privacy and Internet access, and provides a brief overview of current international and domestic initiatives to protect "rights in the digital age". The paper sets the scene for further discussion on the issue and supports policy makers in designing and achieving a rights-oriented and human-centric digital transformation.
    Date: 2022–12–14
  7. By: Harno, Jarmo
    Abstract: This paper studies the competitive landscape in the developing Industry 4.0 ecosystem. Technology development and convergence within the ICT field has led to increased significance of technology platforms and ecosystems organizing around them. The question about the lead integrator, who will take the dominant position and capture the main value is of increased importance. The Industry 4.0 concept is extremely complex as combining so many technologies and potential stake holders. Utilizing technology platform analysis and value capture modeling, this paper sheds light on the strategic questions of the stake holders: Which kind of industry players have the biggest potential to capture the dominant platform player role and the biggest value in the forthcoming Industry 4.0 market? Which are the different opportunities and paths to be pursued by the industry players and service providers.
    Keywords: 5G,Industry 4.0,Industrial IoT,Industry ecosystems,Strategic analysis,Value Capture Model,VCM
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Ferrandis, Jesús; Ramos, Sergio; Feijóo, Claudio
    Abstract: This paper uses an estimation model to calculate the investment gap that needs to be covered to meet the objectives set by the European Commission in the context of the European Gigabit Society (EGS) regarding gigabit networks availability. It analyses the evolution of this gap between mid-2017 and mid-2019 and concludes that it will not be closed in the expected timeframe at the current pace of deployment, especially in rural areas, that are affected by higher costs to deploy. The paper also introduces a high-level assessment of different alternatives that have been proposed to ease the deployment of network and foresees alternative operating models as the most likely option to help reduce the gap in these rural areas.
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Evelyn Odonkor (The American University of Paris); Jessie Pallud (Humanis - Hommes et management en société / Humans and management in society - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg)
    Abstract: While mobile technology adoption has been largely examined by IS research, the symbolic meanings related to these technologies and the role they play in the adoption of mobile technologies in developing countries has been neglected. Thus, this study examines the effects of symbolic drivers (extended self, uniqueness, and status gain), experiential (flow), and functional drivers (ease of use, usefulness) on mobile technology usage by applying the fuzzy-set configurational approach (fsQCA). Survey responses were collected from 430 inhabitants from Ghana. The results show six configurations in which different combinations of symbolic meanings with traditional adoption factors lead to mobile phone usage. These multiple configurations reveal that there is not a single optimal feature that leads to mobile phone adoption in developing countries but rather a blend of features, depending on different combinations of symbolic, experiential, and functional variables.
    Keywords: Developing Countries,Extended Self,Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA),Ghana,Mobile Phone Adoption,Symbolic Drivers
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Koppe, Timo
    Abstract: The rise of digitization has radically transformed innovation processes of today's companies and is increasingly challenging existing theories and practices. Digital innovation can describe both the use of digital technologies during the innovation process and the outcome of innovation. This thesis aims to improve the understanding of digital innovation in today's digitized world by contributing to the theoretical and practical knowledge along the four organizational activities of the digital innovation process: initiation, development, implementation, and exploitation. In doing so, the thesis pays special attention to the use of digital technologies and tools (e.g., machine learning, online crowdsourcing platforms, etc.) that unlock knowledge and data to facilitate new products, services, and other value streams. When initiating digital innovations, organizations seek to identify, assimilate, and apply valuable knowledge from within and outside the organization. This activity is crucial for organizations as it determines how they address the increasing pressure to innovate in their industries and markets while innovation processes themselves are changing and becoming more distributed and open. Papers A and B of this thesis address this phase by examining how digital technologies are changing knowledge gathering, e.g., through new ways of crowdsourcing ideas and facilitating cooperation and collaboration among users and innovation collectives. Paper A focuses on organizational culture as a critical backdrop of digital innovations and explores whether it influences the implementation of idea platforms and, in this way, facilitates the discovery of innovations. The paper reveals that the implementation of idea platforms is facilitated by a culture that emphasizes policies, procedures, and information management. Additionally, the paper highlights the importance of taking organizational culture into account when introducing a new technology or process that may be incompatible with the existing culture. Paper B examines newly formed innovation collectives and initiatives for developing ventilators to address shortages during the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper focuses on digital technologies enabling a transformation in the way innovation collectives form, communicate, and collaborate - all during a period of shutdown and social distancing. The paper underlines the role of digital technologies and collaboration platforms through networking, communication, and decentralized development. The results show that through the effective use of digital technologies, even complex innovations are no longer developed only in large enterprises but also by innovation collectives that can involve dynamic sets of actors with diverse goals and capabilities. In addition, established organizations are increasingly confronted with community innovations that offer complex solutions based on a modular architecture characteristic of digital innovations. Such modular layered architectures are a critical concept in the development of digital innovations. This phase of the digital innovation process encompasses the design, development, and adoption of technological artifacts, which are explored in Sections C and D of this paper. Paper C focuses on the latter, the adoption of digital services artifacts in the plant and mechanical engineering industry. The paper presents an integrative model based on the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) framework that examines different contextual factors as important components of the introduction, adoption, and routinization of digital service innovations. The results provide a basis for studying the assimilation of digital service innovations and can serve as a reference model for informing managerial decisions. Paper D, in turn, focuses on the design and development of a technology artifact. The paper focuses on applying cloud-based machine learning services to implement a visual inspection system in the manufacturing industry. The results show, for one, the value of standardization and vendor-supplied IS architecture concepts in digital innovation and, for another, how such innovations can facilitate further innovations in manufacturing. The implementation of digital innovations marks the third phase of the digital innovation process, which is addressed in Paper E. It encompasses organizational changes that occur during digital innovation initiatives. This phase emphasizes change through digital innovation initiatives within the organization (e.g., strategy, structure, people, and technology) and across the organizational environment. Paper E investigates how digital service innovations impact industrial firms, relationships between firms and their customers, and product/service offerings. The paper uses work systems theory as a theoretical foundation to structure the results and analyze them through the lens of service systems. While this analysis helps to identify the organizational changes that result from the implementation of digital innovations, the paper also provides a basis for further research and supports practitioners with systematic analyses of organizational change. The last phase of the digital innovation process is about exploiting existing systems/data for new purposes and innovations. In this regard, it is important to better understand the improvements and effects in the domains beyond the sheer outcome of digital innovation, such as organizational learning or organizational change capabilities. Paper F of this thesis investigates the exploitation of digital innovations in the context of organizational learning. One aspect of this addresses how individuals within the organization leverage innovation to explore and exploit knowledge. Paper F utilizes the organizational learning perspective and examines the dynamics of human learning and machine learning to understand how organizations can benefit from their respective idiosyncrasies in enabling bilateral learning. The paper demonstrates how bilateral human-machine learning can improve the overall performance using a case study from the trading sector. Drawing on these findings, the paper offers new insights into the coordination of human learning and machine learning, and moreover, the collaboration between human and artificial intelligence in organizational routines.
    Date: 2022

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