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The ICT Component of Technological Diversification: Is there an underestimation of ICT capabilities among the world's largest companies?

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  • Sandro Mendonça

    ()
    (ISCTE)

Abstract

This empirical paper analyses the importance of information and communications technologies (ICT) in the technological diversification trend among the world's large industrial firms. The objective of the research is twofold. First, to emphasise the emerging differences among technologies when companies from different industries patent outside their traditional technological competencies. Second, to investigate whether the tendency among large companies from all industries to patent in ICT is distinctive when compared with other technologies. We find that technological diversification in large companies has certainly occurred in ICTs. For other technologies the results are ambiguous. As could be expected there is considerable industry variation in the intensity and specific directions of ICT patenting. We conclude that the development of corporate capabilities in the key technologies of the emerging ICT paradigm is more widespread than previously emphasised in the literature. One implication is that the rise of multi-technology corporations can be related to the concept of long waves of techno-economic change and to studies characterising ICT as a general-purpose technology.

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File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/spru/publications/imprint/sewps/sewp82/sewp82.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex in its series SPRU Working Paper Series with number 82.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:82

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Keywords: ICT; technological diversification; patents; corporate capabilities; long waves;

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  1. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Freeman, Chris & Louca, Francisco, 2001. "As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241071.
  3. Paul A. David & Gavin Wright, 1999. "General Purpose Technologies and Surges in Productivity: Historical Reflections on the Future of the ICT Revolution," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _031, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. Harberger, Arnold C, 1998. "A Vision of the Growth Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-32, March.
  5. Arora, Ashish & Fosfuri, Andrea & Gambardella, Alfonso, 2001. "Markets for Technology and Their Implications for Corporate Strategy," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 419-51, June.
  6. Paola Giuri & John Hagedoorn & Myriam Mariani, 2002. "Technological Diversification and Strategic Alliances," LEM Papers Series 2002/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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