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Technological revolutions and the evolution of industrial structures. Assessing the impact of new technologies upon size, pattern of growth and boundaries of the firms

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  • Giovanni Dosi
  • Alfonso Gambardella
  • Marco Grazzi
  • Luigi Orsenigo

Abstract

In this work we discuss the impact of the new ICT techno-economic paradigm upon the vertical and horizontal boundaries of the firm and ask whether the change in the sources of competitive advantage has resulted in changes in the size distribution of firms and also in the degree of concentration of industries. Drawing both on firm-level and national statistical data we assess the evolution of the overall balances between the activities which are integrated within organizations and those which occur through market interactions. While the new paradigm entails ``revolutionary'' changes in the domain of technology, the modification in industrial structures has been somewhat more incremental. Certainly, the vertical and horizontal boundaries of firms have changed and together one is observing a turnover in the club of biggest world firms accounting also for a shift in the relative importance of industrial sectors. Nonetheless, we do not observe an abrupt fading of the Chandlerian multidivisional corporation in favour of smaller less-integrated firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2007/12.

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Date of creation: 14 May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2007/12

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Keywords: New techno-economic paradigm; Organizational change; Vertical integration; Boundaries of the firm; Visible hand.;

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References

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  1. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1997. "Technological Regimes and Sectoral Patterns of Innovative Activities," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-117.
  2. Bottazzi, Giulio & Secchi, Angelo, 2003. "Why are distributions of firm growth rates tent-shaped?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 415-420, September.
  3. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Dosi & Daniele Moschella & Emanuele Pugliese & Federico Tamagni, 2013. "Productivity, market selection and corporate growth: comparative evidence across US and Europe," LEM Papers Series 2013/15, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  2. Alena Zemplinerov√°, 2010. "Innovation Activity of Firms and Competition," Politick√° ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(6), pages 747-760.

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