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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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Dosi & Alfonso Gambardella & Marco Grazzi & Luigi Orsenigo, 2007. "Technological revolutions and the evolution of industrial structures. Assessing the impact of new technologies upon size, pattern of growth and boundaries of the firms," LEM Papers Series 2007/12, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2007/12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    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. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pier Paolo Saviotti, 2012. "R&D and the Firm," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 29 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Alena Zemplinerová, 2010. "Inovační aktivita firem a konkurence
      [Innovation Activity of Firms and Competition]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(6), pages 747-760.
    3. Giovanni Dosi & Daniele Moschella & Emanuele Pugliese & Federico Tamagni, 2015. "Productivity, market selection, and corporate growth: comparative evidence across US and Europe," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 643-672, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

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