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Information Technological Change and Innovation - Essay Example

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Summary
The last twenty years have seen the rapid advancements in information and communication technologies, which now play a pivotal role in almost all human activities. The writer of this essay intends to discuss contemporary technology and what let to such situation…
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Information Technological Change and Innovation
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Information Technological Change and Innovation

Download file to see previous pages... There are two modes of technology acquisition. The first is to acquire the technology from abroad, as firms in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore did after the Second World War through the importation of capital goods, licensing, and foreign direct investments. Japan and South Korea used the technological know-how acquired to learn more about automobiles and computer technologies, for example, and then proceeded to improve on them to come out with world-class products like automobiles (Toyota, Nissan, and Honda), electronics goods, office equipment, and even cosmetics.The second way for firms to acquire technology is to develop it from within, a process called indigenous development of technology, the route now being taken by America, the U.K., and several European nations. Countries like Japan and South Korea have begun to take this route in recent decades, which accounts for several companies like Sony and Canon owning thousands of technology patents, although they are still far from the number of patents owned by firms and universities in the U.S. and the U.K.Beginning in the 1970s, the connection between firms and centres of learning like universities and colleges became closer, with firms providing financial support in exchange for first-user advantage or a first option to gain access to the best technological minds (Negroponte, 1995). This allowed research and development (R&D) to go forward at an even faster pace, cutting down the time that products are introduced to the markets. Examples are the development of Silicon Valley in California and Route 128 in Boston where the number of high-tech firms, like Intel and Apple in Silicon Valley and Digital Equipment and Data General in Boston, multiplied in the last quarter of the 20th century, fed by the supply of talented scientists in nearby schools (Stanford and the MIT respectively).
This close link between the university and firms became one of the defining characteristics of the dot.com boom and bust at the most recent turn of the century. PhD students (like Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin) or graduates of these universities (like Sun Microsystems’ Scott McNealy; after all SUN stands for the Stanford University Network) established firms that proved successful. A Harvard dropout established the most successful company (to-date) of the computer age, Microsoft Corporation in Seattle, Washington at the start of the PC era.
Firms and public policy of technology change
Firms have played a major role in actively lobbying for greater technology advancement, with mixed results. In some cases, like American semiconductor companies lobbying for massive government financial support in the 1980s for R&D collaboration, the effort failed because private firms refused to collaborate in an industry marked by the preservation of competitive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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