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Abstract

Advances in information technologies and the growth of a knowledge-based service economy are transforming the basis of technological innovation and corporate competition. This transformation requires taking a broader, institutional and political view of information technology and knowledge management. To succeed, firms are advised to focus on building their distinctive competencies, outsource the rest, and become nodes in value chain networks. This shifts the level of competition from between individual firms to between networks of firms. In these networks, individual firms or entrepreneurs seldom have the resources, power, or legitimacy to produce change alone. As a result, “running in packs” is often more successful than “going it alone” to develop and commercialize knowledge-intensive technologies. Many different actors in public and private sectors make important contributions. These actors do not play impartial roles; instead, they are active participants who become embroiled in diverse, partisan, and em bedded issues of innovation development. In this setting, success requires not only technical and rational competence, but also political savvy to understand and mobilize the interests of other players with stakes in an emerging industry.

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