It is a general understanding that the advanced economies are currently undergoing a fundamental transformation into knowledge-based societies. There is a firm belief that this is based on the development of high-tech industries. Correspondingly, in this scenario low-tech sectors appear to be less important. A critique of this widely held belief is the starting point of this book. It is often overlooked that many of the current innovation activities are linked to developments inside the realm of low-tech. Thus the general objective of the book is to contribute to a discussion concerning the relevance of low-tech industries for industrial innovativeness in the emerging knowledge economy.
Providing examples of both theoretical and empirical research in this area, Innovation in Low-tech Firms and Industries will be of great interest to postgraduate students and academic researchers in innovation studies. It will also appeal to policy makers in the field of innovation policy as well as industrial economists and sociologists interested in traditional industries in advanced economies.
Edited by Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen, Professor of Economic and Industrial Sociology, TU Dortmund University, Germany and David Jacobson, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Dublin City University Business School, Ireland
Contents: INTRODUCTION 1. The Low-Tech Issue Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen, Katrin Hahn and David Jacobson PART I: INNOVATION IN LMT: CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS 2. How to Grasp Innovativeness of Organizations: Outline of a Conceptual Tool Gerd Bender 3. Standard-setting Competition and Open Innovation in Non-HT Industries: Mechanical Engineering and Machinery Alexander Gerybadze and Andre Slowak 4. The Moral Economy of Technology Indicators Benoit Godin 5. Critical Comments on the `Moral Economy of Technology Indicators' Hariolf Grupp PART II: TECHNOLOGICAL DIFFUSION AND INTERRELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SECTORS 6. Distributed Knowledge Bases in Low- and Medium-Technology Industries Paul L. Robertson and Keith Smith 7. LMT Innovations in a High-tech Environment: Human-factor `Tools' for the Airline Industry David Jacobson and Bernard Musyck 8. Technology Fusion and Organizational Structures in Low- and Medium-tech Companies Daniela Freddi 9. Industrial Innovations in Relation to Service Sectors Marja Toivonen 10. The Relevance of Services for High-, Medium- and Low-tech Firms - An Empirical Analysis in German Industry Eva Kirner, Gunter Lay and Steffen Kinkel PART III: LOCAL VERSUS GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES IN INNOVATION 11. Innovation Activities versus Competitiveness in Low- and Medium-Technology-based Economies: The Case of Poland Anna Wziatek-Kubiak 12. Low-tech Industries between Traded and Untraded Interdependencies: A Dynamic Concept of Industrial Complementarities Martin Heidenreich 13. High-tech Innovations in Catching-up Countries: Conditions and Perspectives Staffan Laestadius, Linda Gustavsson and Vicky Long 14. Worshipping at the Shrine of the Knowledge-based Society? James Wickham Index