ICT and Romania's Development Towards the Knowledge Economy
The new stage of the market-based economy is more strongly and more directly rooted in the production, distribution and use of knowledge. Knowledge creation and knowledge diffusion are key driving forces in the economy and knowledge has become an economic resource in its own right (Fischer and Atalik, 2002). Accordingly, firms are more and more interested in absorbing the advances in technological and organizational knowledge and in applying it in the production process and organization of work. In this context, any discussion about knowledge invariably leads to the question of the relationship between information and knowledge. Thus, according to Fischer, the common understanding is that "information does not become knowledge unless its value is enhanced through interpretation, organization, filtration, selection or engineering" (Fischer, 2002, p. 18). Moreover, nowadays the ICT revolution and the knowledge-based economy are closely interrelated. The convergence of computing, information and telecommunication technologies has changed the conditions for the production and dissemination of knowledge and its connection with the production system as well. New flexible information and communication technologies such as internet, web, intranet, extranet, data warehousing and data mining, as well as collaborative groupware technologies are responsible for the major changes in current abilities to handle data and information, to codify knowledge and to transmit codified knowledge (Fischer, 2006).