Information Technology has become symbolic of modernity and progress almost since its inception. The nature and boundaries of IT have also meant that it has shaped, or become embedded within a wide range of other scientific, technological and economic developments. Governments, from the outset, saw the computer as a strategic technology, a keystone of economic development and an area where technology policy should be targeted. This was true for those economies interested in maintaining their technological and economic leadership, but also figured strongly in the developmental programmes of those seeking to modernise or catch up. So strong was the notion that IT policy should be the centre of economic strategy that predominant political economic ideologies have frequently been subverted or distorted to allow for special efforts to promote either the production or use of IT. This book brings together a series of country-based studies to examine, in depth, the nature and extent of IT policies as they have evolved from a complex historical interaction of politics, technology, institutions, and social and cultural factors. In doing so many key questions are critically examined.
Where can we find successful examples of IT policy? Who has shaped policy? Who did governments turn to for advice in framing policy? Several chapters outline the impact of military influence on IT. What is the precise nature of this influence on IT development? How closely were industry leaders linked to government programs and to what extent were these programs, particularly those aimed at the generation of 'national champions', misconceived through undue special pleading? How effective were government personnel and politicians in assessing the merits of programs predicated on technological trajectories extrapolated from increasingly complex and specialised information? This book will be of interest to academics and graduate students of Management Studies, History, Economics, and Technology Studies, and Government and Corporate policy makers engaged with IT and Technology policy.
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(237mm x 160mm x 20mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Author Biography - Richard Coopey
Richard Coopey is Senior Research Fellow at the Business History Unit, London School of Economics, where he has been working since 1996 on the Warwick/LSE ESRC-funded project on IT policy history in postwar Britain. He is the co-author of 3i: Fifty Years Investing in Industry (OUP, 1995).