The New Mobility of Knowledge: Digital Information Systems and Global Flagship Networks
in: Latham, R. and S. Sassen (eds.), Digital Formations: IT and New Architectures in the Global Realm, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.
42 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2016
Date Written: June 2003
Digital information systems (DIS) are electronic systems that integrate software and hardware to enable communication and collaborative work (Chandler and Cortada, 2000). These systems are not developed in a vacuum. They are a response to transformations in economic institutions and structures that determine industrial dynamics. “Globalization” is a widely used short-hand for those transformations. This chapter focuses on digital formations centered in the corporate sector. It explores the link between transformations in international business organization and industry dynamics. The approach that I have chosen focuses on international knowledge diffusion through an extension of firm organization across national boundaries. A central argument is that two inter-related transformations in the organization of international business may gradually reduce constraints to international knowledge diffusion: the evolution of cross-border forms of corporate networking practices, especially global flagship networks (GFNs), and the increasing use of digital information systems (DIS) to manage these networks. GFNs expand inter-firm linkages across national boundaries, increasing the need for knowledge diffusion, while DIS enhance not only information exchange, but also provide new opportunities for the sharing, and joint utilization and creation of knowledge.
Keywords: mobility of knowledge, digital information systems, global flagship networks
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