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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Norberto Patrignani and Diane Whitehouse

This discussion paper focuses on a notion of information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair that the authors call Slow Tech. The purpose of…

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2268

Abstract

Purpose

This discussion paper focuses on a notion of information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair that the authors call Slow Tech. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Slow Tech approach in order to explain how to create a suitable bridge between business ethics and computer ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper’s approach is discursive. It provides a viewpoint. Its arguments are based in an examination of literature relevant to both business ethics and computer ethics. Justification is produced for the use of Slow Tech approach. A number of potential future research and application issues still to be investigated are also provided.

Findings

Slow Tech can be proposed, and used, as a bridging mechanism between companies’ strategies regarding computer ethics and business ethics. Three case studies illustrate the kind of challenges that companies have to tackle when trying to implement Slow Tech in concrete business context. Further study need to be undertaken to make progress on Slow Tech in applied, corporate settings.

Practical implications

ICT companies need to look for innovative, new approaches to producing, selling and recycling their services and products. A Slow Tech approach can provide such insights.

Social implications

Today’s challenges to the production and use of good, clean, and fair ICT, both conceptual and concrete, can act as incentives for action: they can further applied research or encourage social activism. Encouraging the study, and the application, of Slow Tech provides a first step in the potential improvement of a society in which information technology is totally embedded.

Originality/value

The value of this paper in not only for academics and researchers, but also for practitioners: especially for personnel working in ICT companies and for those involved with designing, developing and applying codes of conduct at both European and globally.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2020

Tim Gorichanaz

How is understanding built? This chapter operationalizes the discussion from the previous chapters to offer some design strategies for creating information systems that…

Abstract

How is understanding built? This chapter operationalizes the discussion from the previous chapters to offer some design strategies for creating information systems that promote the building of understanding. These strategies are, namely, multiple perspectives, slowness, and intentional struggle. Examples of and existing literature on these design strategies are discussed.

Details

Information Experience in Theory and Design
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-368-5

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Henry Birdseye Weil

Many models of markets are based on assumptions of rationality, transparency, efficiency, and homogeneity in various combinations. This paper aims to explain why markets…

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3449

Abstract

Purpose

Many models of markets are based on assumptions of rationality, transparency, efficiency, and homogeneity in various combinations. This paper aims to explain why markets routinely and repeatedly make “mistakes” that are inconsistent with these simplifying assumptions.

Design/methodology/approach

System dynamics models are used to show how misestimating demand growth, allowing financial discipline to lapse, unrealistic business planning, and misperception of technology trajectories can produce disastrously wrong business decisions. Examples are drawn from airlines, telecommunications, IT, aerospace, energy, and media.

Findings

The undesirable outcomes can include vicious cycles of investment and profitability, market bubbles, accelerated commoditization, excessive investment in dead‐end technologies, giving up on a product that becomes a huge success, waiting too long to reinvent legacy companies, and changes in market leadership. Differentiating transient phenomena from the longer term trends, movement away from vertically integrated business models, and effective use of early warning signs avoid these mistakes, or at least limit the damage that they cause.

Practical implications

Decision makers tend to rely on simple mental models which have serious limitations. They become increasingly deficient as problems grow more complex, as the environment changes more rapidly, and as the number of decision makers increases. The amplification and tipping dynamics typical of highly coupled systems, for example, bandwagon, network, and lemming effects, are not anticipated. Behavioural factors that play critical roles in the evolution of markets often are misunderstood or ignored.

Originality/value

The paper illuminates the effects of bounded rationality, imperfect information, and fragmentation of decision making on the behavior of markets. Models which assume, at least implicitly, that decision makers understand the structure of the market and how it produces the dynamics which can be observed or might potentially occur can be dangerous simplifications and seriously misleading.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 39 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Abstract

Details

3D Printing Cultures, Politics and Hackerspaces
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-665-0

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2020

Smangele P. Moyane, Luyanda Dube, Ntando Nkomo and Patrick Ngulube

This study examined the extent to which public academic libraries in South Africa coped with the changing information environment by using competitive intelligence (CI) to…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examined the extent to which public academic libraries in South Africa coped with the changing information environment by using competitive intelligence (CI) to attain competitiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted positivism as the main philosophical lens and also incorporated qualitative elements to augment the quantitative data through a survey research design. Questionnaires were e-mailed to 25 directors of public academic libraries in South Africa and 17 were returned, yielding a 68% response rate. Attempts were made to reach to the 25 directors through semi-structured telephonic interviews, and only eight responded some through their representatives, yielding a 32% response rate. Using two instruments permitted the triangulation of data. A noted limitation of the study is that some library directors neither responded to the questionnaire nor the interview.

Findings

Findings revealed that various competitive intelligence techniques were employed; however, their implementation was not formalised. Competitiveness was driven by various factors such as rivalries in the information value chain; relevance; financial and budgetary constraints; changing user expectations and evolving technology.

Originality/value

This study is novel because there is a dearth of literature on implementation and use of competitive intelligence in academic libraries in South Africa.

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2020

Payam Hanafizadeh, Bayan Khosravi and Seyed Habibollah Tabatabaeian

Selecting an appropriate theory has always remained a critical task for the digital policy researchers. The literature seems to miss providing theoretical accounts of…

Abstract

Purpose

Selecting an appropriate theory has always remained a critical task for the digital policy researchers. The literature seems to miss providing theoretical accounts of policy view of the digital platforms governance and offering tools for measuring the effectiveness of policies. To this end, this paper aims to provide a critical review and comparison of dominant information systems (IS) theories used. It highlights the weaknesses of these theories to explain technology features and actor- technology interactions with the rising trend of digital platforms. The main argument of this research is that the policymakers will not have adequate tools for policymaking of digital platforms by following the assumptions of theories used dominantly in the IS field.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyzes the assumptions of dominant IS theories and their applications in the digital policy literature. Then, it shows to what extent these theories are incapable of conceptualizing features of technology and actors’ role in policymaking and governance of digital platforms.

Findings

This paper identifies three aspects of digital platforms, including layered architecture, multisided (“side” means “participants”) and user interaction based, that dominant IS theories have shortcomings in explaining them.

Practical implications

The findings of this research can help authorities to take a more realistic view in defining digital platform policy objectives and applying more appropriate tools in policy implementation.

Originality/value

Discussing insights into the shortcomings of theories helps to define the theoretical requirements for studying policymaking and governance of digital platforms. It also suggests opportunities and recommendations for future studies.

Details

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5038

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Li Guo and Xiaomin Hu

The purpose of this paper is to describe green technological trajectories in eco‐industrial parks and reveal the effect of the selected environment on the trajectories in…

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2615

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe green technological trajectories in eco‐industrial parks and reveal the effect of the selected environment on the trajectories in China, by means of case studies of the Lubei Group and the Guitang Group.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for content analysis from various sources, including annual reports of listed companies, newspapers, web sites and academic articles. It adopts contrast analysis, in order to show the different technological evolution trend and the diversified dynamics of the selected environment.

Findings

The study provides the empirical insights about how green technology evolves and affects the evolution of the eco‐industrial park. The green technology development of the Lubei Group forms self‐reinforcing mechanism through learning process, economies of scale in production and network externalities, while that of the Guitang Group is under way. Additionally, the paper discusses how the selected environment affects the green technology, referring to the six factors constituting the selected environment: environmental regulation, financial support, knowledge accumulation, market environment, organizational culture and resource endowment.

Originality/value

The paper analyzes the evolution process, drivers and operational risks of eco‐industrial parks in the perspective of green technological trajectories. Some practical suggestions, such as eco‐industrial parks should put the focus on environmental intellectual property protection, green core competencies construction and green technology transfer strategies are proposed. What is more, the Lubei Group is a large, state‐owned enterprise and the Guitang Group used to be. The contrast analysis tends to disclose the context‐embedded knowledge of eco‐industrial parks development in an emerging market.

Details

Journal of Knowledge-based Innovation in China, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1418

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2007

Orlando Gomes

The purpose of the paper is to present an integrated approach concerning intertemporal choices and the location of economic activity under a simple endogenous growth…

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1092

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to present an integrated approach concerning intertemporal choices and the location of economic activity under a simple endogenous growth model. The idea is that time analysis concerning the choices about present and future consumption and the choices on the allocation of scientific resources should be combined with a space analysis regarding the dissemination of economic activity through geographical locations.

Design/methodology/approach

Two optimal control problems are considered. These relate to a standard utility maximization set‐up, in which spatial considerations are incorporated, and to a problem of allocation of scientific/technological resources. Steady states and transitional dynamics are addressed.

Findings

It was found that the long‐run steady state does not have to be a state of unchangeable geography – consumption, production conditions and technological progress determine not only long‐term growth but also the long‐term tendency for the economy to geographically concentrate or disperse.

Research limitations/implications

In its essence, the model is just a conventional Ramsey growth model, sophisticated in order to include endogenous location decisions and endogenous technology choices. Further insights can be gained by readdressing the model (e.g. by assuming a monopolistic competition environment instead of a purely competitive set‐up).

Originality/value

The determinants of growth are, on the one hand, the decisions about how to allocate technological resources and, on the other hand, the strength with which productive activities can agglomerate in order to generate increasing returns to scale.

Details

Studies in Economics and Finance, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1086-7376

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Norberto Patrignani and Diane Whitehouse

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the term Slow Tech as a way of describing information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair. These are…

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1306

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the term Slow Tech as a way of describing information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair. These are technologies that are human centred, environmentally sustainable and socially desirable.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper's approach is based on a qualitative discourse that justifies the introduction of Slow Tech as a new design paradigm.

Findings

The limits of the human body, and the need to take into account human wellbeing, the limits of the planet and stakeholders' interests in decision making, all suggest the need for a new paradigm, Slow Tech, in the design of ICT and ICT systems. Three scenarios are described as case studies.

Practical implications

In order to prepare the next generation of researchers and computer professionals, many different actions need to be taken. Universities and colleges need to redesign education programmes for computer scientists and engineers by introducing subjects related to the social and ethical implications of computing (currently, only few countries, like the UK, have already done this), and computer professionals' associations need to introduce a code of ethics or ethical analysis into their members' career development. As a result, future computer professionals who are familiar with the Slow Tech approach will be able to collaborate much more easily across the kind of cross disciplinary teams suited to design human centred, sustainable and desirable technologies.

Social implications

Rather than simply focusing on the role of computer professionals, all members of society are called to play a new role in the design of future ICT scenarios. Starting a societal dialogue that involves computer professionals, users, researchers, designers, ICT industrialists, and policy makers is very much needed.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is in its call for reflection followed by action. Based on an holistic approach to the design of new ICT systems, the paper advocates a new starting point for systems design: it should be based on a long-term view of the desirability and social importance of technologies, their environmental impact and sustainability, and the fairness and equity of the conditions of workers involved in the computing manufacturing processes.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Norberto Patrignani and Diane Whitehouse

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Slow Tech can support the celebration of the 20-year series of ETHICOMP conferences, with its ethical and societal focus…

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1173

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Slow Tech can support the celebration of the 20-year series of ETHICOMP conferences, with its ethical and societal focus, building on earlier descriptions of Slow Tech. The paper takes Slow Tech’s ideas a step further to explore how a roadmap and concrete checklist of activities can be developed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a thought leadership or conceptual piece. Its approach is based on a normative, qualitative discourse. It, nevertheless, indicates a shift towards concrete actions.

Findings

Extracting from a brief historical overview, the paper lays out the means of building a Slow Tech roadmap and a Slow Tech checklist of actions. It also investigates a number of the challenges that might face Slow Tech in the future.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has implications for stakeholder fields as far-ranging as corporations, computing professional associations, universities and research institutions and end-users.

Originality/value

As with other investigations of Slow Tech, the value of this paper is in its call for reflection followed by action. It provides a useful complement and counterbalance to an earlier paper by the same authors: “Slow Tech: a quest for good, clean and fair ICT” published in Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society (Vol. 12, issue 2, pp. 78-92).

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 13 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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