Title: Technology in the service industries

Authors: John A. Alic

Addresses: Senior Associate, Technology Assessment Board, Office of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States, Washington, DC 20510-8025, USA

Abstract: The technologies of the service industries and of manufacturing draw from much the same storehouse of knowledge, particularly when it comes to computer-based systems. Nonetheless, governments, accustomed to making a sharp separation between goods and services, have failed to recognize this commonality. Until recently, US government compilations of R&D statistics hardly mentioned the services, implying that the nation|s expenditures on services-related R&D came to only about $3 billion annually. Little reflection is needed to show that such figures are much too small. In fact, firms that produce services not only depend heavily on technology but pay for perhaps a quarter of US industrial R&D. These confusions suggest that the attention paid to |post-industrial| knowledge-based economic activities remains largely superficial, and has not yet influenced the underlying paradigms of analysts and decision-makers.

Keywords: service industries; R&D; technology base; competitive strategy; research and development; computer applications; financial services; technology management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1994.025559

International Journal of Technology Management, 1994 Vol.9 No.1, pp.1 - 14

Published online: 23 May 2009 *

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