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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Samuel W. Jimba

The world is witnessing the commencement of a new revolution ‐ the information revolution. Like all other revolutions before it, the information revolution will have…

Abstract

The world is witnessing the commencement of a new revolution ‐ the information revolution. Like all other revolutions before it, the information revolution will have cataclysmic effects on human history. Already the revolution has transformed the world into a global village where information is produced, transmitted and exchanged from remote locations in a matter of seconds. Business applications of the Internet are also improving the economies of various countries. However, for Africa, the information environment is still underdeveloped and is thus creating impediments to the participation of the continent in the information revolution. This paper discusses this environment and offers suggestions for Africa’s participation in the world’s fourth revolution.

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OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-075X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1993

Carl Frappaolo

A word of caution to users of online databases — do not rest on your laurels. Though you may be users of online information you must ask yourself, how much of your…

Abstract

A word of caution to users of online databases — do not rest on your laurels. Though you may be users of online information you must ask yourself, how much of your information is available online? We are all aware of the countless studies that have shown anywhere from 93–95% of all information used by organizations today is in paper format. More importantly, research conducted by the Delphi Consulting Group has shown that less than one tenth of 1% of the information stored electronically is under the control of a text retrieval system. If that concerns you — it should. But it should not concern you as much as the fact that the overwhelming majority of full‐text retrieval front ends to online databases do not utilize state‐of‐the‐art functionality and features. If you believe that as an early adopter of online technology you are guaranteed a place among the victors of the information revolution, you are in for a rude awakening.

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Online and CD-Rom Review, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1353-2642

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2000

Derek Law

Previous revolutions, the Agrarian and Industrial, are examined and their features compared with the Information Revolution. Lessons are drawn from the comparison and a…

Abstract

Previous revolutions, the Agrarian and Industrial, are examined and their features compared with the Information Revolution. Lessons are drawn from the comparison and a range of global issues identified. The nature of the Internet is considered and its pretensions argued to be inflated. The role of the state in developing an information society is discussed. A national information policy is identified as a feature and its application in and implications for Scotland are considered. Key features of an Internet culture are indicated and discussed, with lessons and conclusions for social development within the information society presented.

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Library Review, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Toni Weller and David Bawden

The purpose of this paper is to examine the theory of a control revolution in nineteenth century England, and its social and technological implications for the information

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the theory of a control revolution in nineteenth century England, and its social and technological implications for the information society. It takes up where most historical interpretations of the industrial revolution end, and before most analyses of the digital era begin. The work focuses on three distinct types of technological advance – in transportation, in communication, and in the processing of information – without adopting a technologically deterministic argument.

Design/methodology/approach

Historical analysis, based on both primary and secondary sources.

Findings

The article first considers the introduction of the railways, and makes a case in that there were two crises of control involving railway technology in the nineteenth century: a crisis of communication, and a crisis of organisation. It goes on to assess the growth of bureaucracy and organisation in commerce. The expansion of government surveillance power towards the end of the nineteenth century is also discussed.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is broad in its scope and therefore some necessary omissions and limitations have been made. Many of the terms used throughout have entire literatures on their meanings, but it is not the intention of this paper to engage further with these debates, and it is acknowledged that within this limited discussion there is room for some ambiguity surrounding terms. Such concepts have been defined as far as possible within the article. The impact of warfare and military organisation are key themes, and while extremely relevant, deserve fuller discussion elsewhere. Also, while there would have undoubtedly been effects upon the British Empire from English industrialisation and the resulting crises of control, it has not been possible to discuss the implications of differing socio‐economic and political conditions within the Empire in this paper. The increasing sophistication of other professions such as finance and accounting in this period have not been considered, although again, this is an area which deserves individual study[1].

Originality/value

The research takes a step towards demonstrating that the origins of the information society can be traced back to the structural and organisational implications of the control revolution of the nineteenth century. The methods of control created the basic communication infrastructures still used in 2005, and set the precedent for government intervention and social surveillance. It concludes by discussing the potential crises of control within the information society.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1994

Joe Fitzsimmons

The third industrial revolution, fueled by the combined powers of information technology, is changing not only the way we work but also our perceptions, definitions and…

Abstract

The third industrial revolution, fueled by the combined powers of information technology, is changing not only the way we work but also our perceptions, definitions and insights into the world. Society will emerge from the third industrial revolution as a global village. Technology and information providers will empower people to find, retrieve, share and use data in ways that enrich their lives.

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The Electronic Library, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1993

Roger Silverstone

This paper provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the questions that have been raised both in empirical work on information and communication technologies (ICTs) in…

Abstract

This paper provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the questions that have been raised both in empirical work on information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the household (Silverstone, 1991; Silverstone and Hirsch, 1992) and previous attempts to conceptualize the place and significance of ICTs in everyday life (Silverstone, Hirsch and Morley, 1992). It is intended to raise questions both about the cultural politics of information and communication technologies and, more broadly, about the politics of culture — about information and communication technologies' mediation of public and private spheres. It also raises questions about the nature, direction and speed of the ‘information revolution’.

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Aslib Proceedings, vol. 45 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2018

Gao Feng

There exist long-term fluctuations in the process of capital accumulation. The economic long wave is an essential part of research into non-mainstream western economics…

Abstract

Purpose

There exist long-term fluctuations in the process of capital accumulation. The economic long wave is an essential part of research into non-mainstream western economics. After the Second World War, the capitalist world experienced the fourth long wave of expansion and then entered into a downward phase of the long wave in the 1970s. Regarding to whether a new long wave of expansion took place in the 1980s, left-wing scholars hold different viewpoints. The purpose of this paper is to focus on this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

First, based on the review of the long wave history, this paper discusses three kinds of long wave theories with significant influence and puts forward the theoretical framework of analyzing the long wave of capitalist economy. Next, under the guidance of this theoretical framework and in combination with the actual development and evolution of the capitalist economy, the issue of whether the fifth long wave of the capitalist economy began to emerge in the 1980s is discussed deeply.

Findings

This paper argues that, from the early 1980s to 2007, the US-dominated developed countries experienced a new long wave of expansion driven by the information technology revolution, the adjustment of the neoliberalism system and the economic globalization. However, the financial-economic crisis of 2008–2009 led to a new phase of long wave downswing.

Originality/value

This paper does not agree with the single-factor analysis of the intrinsic formation mechanism of economic long wave and sticks to the multi-factor analysis centering on the fluctuation of accumulation rate. It is pointed out that the evolution of the long wave of capitalist economy depends on the combined influence of technology, institutions and market. The study of the long wave of the economy will help us to correctly understand the historical stage and characteristics of the current world capitalist economy in the long-term fluctuations, so that we can make an appropriate and positive response.

Details

China Political Economy, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2516-1652

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1982

T. Stonier

We have slipped into a new society without quite noticing it, as a result of the electronic revolution, and we are still bumbling along in the old ways while a third…

Abstract

We have slipped into a new society without quite noticing it, as a result of the electronic revolution, and we are still bumbling along in the old ways while a third revolution, the information revolution, is overtaking us. It is my function this morning to try to put a broader philosophical perspective on things, and for that reason I begin with an anecdote—with apologies to those of you who may have heard it before. You will know of the philosopher in education who had established an international reputation on the theory that children will not learn if they are not supported properly psychologically. And he achieved a reputation far and wide for this view. One Saturday afternoon he persuaded a couple of students into helping him lay a fresh drive at home, and they had worked hard and arduously at this task for several hours and completed it. They stood admiring its nice smooth surface when two neighbourhood children playing tag, in the heat of the chase, ran right through this. Our professor looked at the children's footprints and blanched and then became apoplectic. He began shouting and screaming at the children, yelling terrible things—obscene things. The students were aghast and said ‘but Professor Smith, we thought you liked children!’ He replied:—‘Yes, yes, well I love them in the abstract but I hate them in the concrete.’

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

Kevin Carey

It is generally assumed that the benefits of new communications technologies are universal and evenly distributed but this overlooks the concepts of comparative…

Abstract

It is generally assumed that the benefits of new communications technologies are universal and evenly distributed but this overlooks the concepts of comparative disadvantage and special opportunity. Dyslexic people, for example, were increasingly comparatively disadvantaged in increasingly text‐based societies and deaf people were comparatively disadvantaged as text gave way to an increasing use of audio information but the telephone presented a special opportunity for house‐bound people as did the electronic amplifier for people with weak voices. Poor people are almost always disadvantaged by new systems either because the initial equipment or the training to use it are rare and expensive, but both these costs generally fall as time passes, the market expands and the research and development costs fall out of the pricing. The Information Technology (IT) revolution, then, is not unique in its creation of serious, if temporary, comparative disadvantage as well as many special opportunities. In this paper I will use the example of visual impairment to analyse the impact of communications systems on an identifiable — but by no means identical — cluster before addressing the more general comparative disadvantage and special opportunities brought about by the IT revolution.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 49 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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