nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2009‒06‒17
two papers chosen by
Laura Stefanescu
European Research Centre of Managerial Studies in Business Administration

  1. The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization By Nick Bloom; Luis Garicano; Raffaella Sadun; John Van Reenen
  2. The Spatial Evolution of Innovation Networks: A Proximity Perspective By Ron Boschma; Koen Frenken

  1. By: Nick Bloom; Luis Garicano; Raffaella Sadun; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: Empirical studies on information communication technologies (ICT) typically aggregate the"information" and "communication" components together. We show theoretically and empirically thatthese have very different effects on the empowerment of employees, and by extension on wageinequality. If managerial hierarchies are devices to acquire and transmit knowledge and information,technologies that reduce information costs enable agents to acquire more knowledge and 'empower'lower level agents. Conversely, technologies reducing communication costs substitute agent'sknowledge for directions from their managers, and lead to centralization. Using an original dataset offirms in the US and seven European countries we study the impact of ICT on worker autonomy, plantmanager autonomy and spans of control. Consistently with the theory we find that better informationtechnologies (Enterprise Resource Planning for plant managers and CAD/CAM for productionworkers) are associated with more autonomy and a wider span of control. By contrast, communicationtechnologies (like data networks) decrease autonomy for both workers and plant managers. Ourfindings are robust to using exogenous variation in cross-country telecommunication costs arisingfrom differential regulatory regimes.
    Keywords: organization, delegation, information technology, communication technology, the theoryof the firm
    JEL: O31 O32 O33 F23
    Date: 2009–05
  2. By: Ron Boschma; Koen Frenken
    Abstract: We propose an evolutionary perspective on the geography of network formation that is grounded in a dynamic proximity framework. In doing so, we root the proximity concept in an evolutionary approach to the geography of innovation networks. We discuss three topics. The first topic focuses on explaining the structure of networks. The second topic concentrates on explaining the effects of networks on the performance of actors. The third topic deals with the changing role of proximity dimensions in the formation and performance of innovation networks in the longer run.
    Keywords: evolutionary economic geography, knowledge networks, innovation networks, dynamic proximity
    JEL: R0 R1 R12
    Date: 2009–06

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