Title: Technology and the nature of the firm

Authors: Alain Bienayme

Addresses: Professor of Industrial Economics, University of Paris-Dauphine, Place du Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny, 751 16 Paris, France

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to show how a better understanding of the role played by technology in the decision-making process of a business changes our conception of the nature of the firm. According to the role played by technology in decision-making, the author distinguishes five grades of firm: Grade zero represents a world of optimal and stationary technology. Grade one describes a firm whose growth is endowed with an implicit technological progress through productivity gains. Grade two refers to the ||Schumpeterian|| firms which display an exceptional thrust for innovation. Grade three firms integrate technology and knowledge management in their strategies. Grade four stresses features of a specific category of firms, groups or networks which are focusing their activities in technology mixes.

Keywords: economic growth; firm growth; process innovation; diversification; spirit of enterprise; knowledge management; flexible production systems; technological network; technology management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1988.025989

International Journal of Technology Management, 1988 Vol.3 No.5, pp.563 - 578

Available online: 26 May 2009 *

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