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Technological Revolutions and the Evolution of Industrial Structures: Assessing the Impact of New Technologies upon the Size and Boundaries of Firms

Listed author(s):
  • Dosi Giovanni

    (LEM, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy)

  • Gambardella Alfonso

    (Bocconi University, Milano, Italy)

  • Grazzi Marco

    (LEM, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy)

  • Orsenigo Luigi

    (University of Brescia, Italy)

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 of 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 any abrupt fading away of the Chandlerian multidivisional corporation in favour of smaller less-integrated firms.

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File URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/cas.2008.3.1/cas.2008.3.1.1030/cas.2008.3.1.1030.xml?format=INT
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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Capitalism and Society.

Volume (Year): 3 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-49

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:capsoc:v:3:y:2008:i:1:n:6
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  1. Marengo, Luigi & Dosi, Giovanni, 2005. "Division of labor, organizational coordination and market mechanisms in collective problem-solving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 303-326, October.
  2. Evans, David S, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 567-581, June.
  3. Richard N. Langlois, 2003. "The vanishing hand: the changing dynamics of industrial capitalism," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 351-385, April.
  4. Cantwell, John & Iammarino, Simona, 2001. "EU Regions and Multinational Corporations: Change, Stability and Strengthening of Technological Comparative Advantages," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 1007-1037, December.
  5. Kamien,Morton I. & Schwartz,Nancy L., 1982. "Market Structure and Innovation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521293853, February.
  6. Giovanni Dosi & Christopher Freeman & Richard Nelson & Gerarld Silverberg & Luc Soete (ed.), 1988. "Technical Change and Economic Theory," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1988, August.
  7. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso (ed.), 2005. "From Underdogs to Tigers: The Rise and Growth of the Software Industry in Brazil, China, India, Ireland, and Israel," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199275601.
  8. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2000. "Design Rules, Volume 1: The Power of Modularity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024667, July.
  9. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Alfonso Gambardella, 2004. "Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511819, July.
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