[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The article is divided into four sections. The first consists of a review of a few main lines of Heertje's thoughts on the relation between economics and technical change. It appears that Dr. Heertje has chosen to write a basically non-mathematical book dealing with the history of technology, production theories and the significance of technical development for economic growth, monopoly power and economic policy. The general comments in the second section make it clear that his study is an excellent survey of the literature on the subject. It covers an overwhelmingly large number of topics and includes copious notes at the end. However, the author's assigned task of filling a gap in the literature for a varied audience of undergraduates, post-graduate students and working economists as well as those doing research in the field of technical development inevitably proved to be too difficult. It means that many conclusions have to be accepted at their face value. On the contrary, at the end of the second section of thepresent article a CS model is constructed that allows for a more exact analysis of the important question about the absorptive power of an economic system with regard to the consequences of labour-saving technological pushes. The third section deals more fully with the author's treatment of Von Bhm-Bawerk's roundabout production theory. Improvements are suggested in this section as well as in the concluding fourth section.
De Economist 05/1980; 128(2):226-241. · 0.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a growing belief that investing in industrial design is beneficial to company performance. This article sheds more light on how and when integrating industrial design in the product development process can enhance a company’s competitive position. The basic premise is that the impact of industrial design on company performance is not unconditional, but dependent on industry evolution and design strategy. We opted to define industrial design in a general way, namely as the activity that transforms a set of product requirements into a configuration of materials, elements and components. This activity can have an impact on a product’s appearance, user friendliness, ease of manufacture, efficient use of materials, functional performance, and so on.The empirical data incorporated in this study stems from two Dutch manufacturing industries, namely home furniture and precision instruments. Home furniture and precision instruments were selected because the strategy of integrating industrial design in the product development process is rather mature in the first-named industry and emerging in the second. We collected data from firms investing considerably in industrial design (n = 23) and firms investing little to nothing in industrial design (n = 24), using a semistructured questionnaire that was administrated during face-to-face sessions with senior managers.Two out of the three research hypotheses were supported. It was found that the extent to which firms integrate industrial design in new product development projects has a significant and positive influence on company performance (H1a), in particular when the strategy of investing in industrial design is relatively new for the industry involved (H1b). There was no systematic pattern indicating that design innovation is more important in industries where the use of design is mature than in industries where the use of design is emerging (H2). Instead, we found that design innovation has significant positive performance effects in both types of industries. One important managerial inference from our study is that new product development managers should consider the changing nature of competition during industry evolution while developing strategies that encompass the use of industrial design in new product development. Another important managerial inference is that, besides being innovative in the field of products, being innovative with respect to design and design strategy can help to enhance competitiveness regardless of industry evolution.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the paper is to analyze the role of design in re-launching the competitiveness of Italian SMEs. The importance of design in product innovation has grown dramatically during the last few years. Traditionally, design was considered an exception reserved for luxury segments and sophisticated niche markets that could appreciate a product's aesthetic and artistic values. Now, design is becoming the synthetic expression of a range of managerial processes, including product innovation, communication, distribution channels, and renewed customer relations, that are innovating products by adding communicative value. On the basis of the analysis of case studies and focus groups, the paper aims at pointing out competitive models based on design for upgrading in global value chains.
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