Thursday, December 30, 2004
Course Contents and Objectives
The rise and fall of the high-technology industries of the 1990s reflect broader changes in markets, production organization, and business models, as well as the operation of government policies. These broader changes, which include but go well beyond the Internet revolution itself, suggest that the industrial economy is being fundamentally transformed by the diffusion of innovations in technology and business models across the industrial and industrializing economies. At the same time, these changes cannot be understood without a deeper examination of the factors that created competitive advantage at the national level in many of these industries during the previous three decades. This course explores the broad changes in "who is winning, who is losing, and why" in global markets for high-technology goods ranging from semiconductors to Internet services.
This course seeks to make sense of the decline and prospective recovery of U.S. high-technology industries, the evolution of innovation and technology strategies and policies in Asia and Europe, the historic and current roles of governments in shaping markets for high-technology goods, and the impact on business strategies of recent developments in early-stage capital markets. Our general approach views technological innovation and competition as dynamic processes that reflect previous choices made by firms and governments. Modern technologies develop in markets that are international in scope, often imperfectly competitive, and subject to influence by a variety of economic and political stakeholders. We will use an eclectic mix of practical, historical, and theoretical perspectives throughout the course in examining these issues. From time to time, we will be joined by venture capitalists, corporate executives, and technologists engaged in global high-technology markets for discussion of these issues.