The Digital Economy
Business Organization, Production Processes and Regional Developments
Routledge – 2007 – 296 pages
Information technologies (IT) shape economic space, but we have no clear map of the cyber economy since the "digital revolution" began in the early 1970s. The Digital Economy offers an up-to-date, critical synthesis that links the various aspects of the digital or cyber economy from the perspective of real firms. A geographic approach emphasizes how IT has made businesses less dependent on locational constraints, and the tangible effects on places and regions are placed at the core of the analysis. Case studies of companies, including Amazon, Dell, Li & Fung, and Volvo, demonstrate that the geography of digitally-driven production is the outcome of both dispersion and agglomeration dynamics. Global corporations are shown to have footprints that ignore – to some degree – distance and time, yet creative and coordinating activities remain anchored in urban innovative ecosystems such as Silicon Valley and Bangalore. These trends have been made possible by the development of a worldwide and integrated telecommunications network, whose unequal presence dictates the capabilities of places and communities to be connected to the global economy. However, the threat of the digital divide must not be overstated. In cities, rural areas, and emerging countries, local development is wrapped up in human capital, rather than technology.
This engaging and accessible text describes and explains the patterns and dynamics of today’s digital economic space. The effects on places and regions and the people in them are at the core of the authors’ analysis, illustrated by many real examples. This book will be useful to anyone studying business and management, geography and information and communication studies.
"…this is a fine read for anyone teaching or doing research in communications or the geography of services. It would make an excellent supplement to undergraduate textbooks that typically pay woefully inadequate attention to an issue that is one of the defining facets of our era."
-- Annals of the Association of American Geographers, January 2009
"The Digital Economy is a well-written book on a topic currently of interest to geographers and those who are interested in the interconnections of science, technology, and society." -- Economic Geography, Vol. 86, No. 1, January 2010
"The book serves as a useful primer on IT and geography. It carefully balances review of theories and empirical work from existing literature with examples and case studies…Malecki and Moriset have largely succeeded in synthesizing a large and diverse literature in a concise, well-written text. Readers who wish to learn more about IT and regional development will find time reading this book well spent." -- Journal of Regional Science, VOL. 50, NO. 3, 2010
"The Digital Economy is awell-written,well-researched, and compelling look at the ways in which information technologies are reshaping economic space. Much effort has been spent by governments, academics, and development practitioners in trying to understand the role that technologies play in regional development, and this book offers a comprehensive insight into the key debates.The book is excellently referenced and draws on empirical and theoretical research from a range of fields without falling into the trap of excessive use of techno-jargon. Many of the chapters are well grounded in theory, but the book generally avoids abstract discussions by frequently interweaving rich and highly illustrative examples into the text." - Mark Graham, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
1. Introduction: The Digital Economy and the Splintering of Economic Space 2. Information Technologies and the "New Economy" Debate 3. Where Local Meets Global: The Rise of the Digital Network 4. Digital Production and Business Organizations 5. The Multiscale Geographies of Electronic Commerce and Electronic Finance 6. Splintering the Economic Space: The Offshoring of Corporate Services 7.Telework / Telecommuting: Time and Space Flexibilities in Work and Business Organization 8. The Paradox of a "Double-Edged Geography": Local Ecosystems of the Digital Economy 9. Peripheral Regions and the "Digital Divide" Epilogue
Edward J. Malecki is Professor of Geography at The Ohio State University. He is author of over 100 published papers, and of Technology and Economic Development (Addison-Wesley Longman, 1997) and Associate Editor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development.
Bruno Moriset is Associate Professor and Research Director in the department of Geography and Planning at the University of Lyon - Jean Moulin in France. His research focuses notably on the link between information technologies and regional development.