About_Brynjolfsson - NGO 091222 Notes on Brynjolfsson, Erik...

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NGO 091222 Notes on Brynjolfsson, Erik & Saunders, Adam (2010) Wired for Innovation – How Information Technology Is Reshaping the Economy. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Ca 170 pp. It has been said for a long time now: IT is an enabler of changed work practices and organisational solutions, and will not by itself something increase productivity or wealth. It follows that it should be at least equally important to mastermind changes in practices and organisation as it is to acquire suitable IT. Thomas Falk and I argued already in our 1996 book IT som strategisk resurs that balanced scorecards could be useful in orchestrating such changes, and in coordinating them with implementation of new information systems. In their new book Brynjolfsson and Sauders summarize the evidence for IT’s role in the economy – cf. the book’s subtitle. It’s a slim volume, and it doesn’t say much new if you have followed the debate over the so-called IT productivity paradox in the nineties up to the more recent rise and fall of the new economy, and the current more chastened attitude to IT’s blessings. As a text, it is highly uneven: my guess is that MIT professor Brynjolfsson and Wharton School lecturer Saunders summarized the evidence, and that someone at the publisher then added down-to-earth examples to make it palatable for a more general readership. The result is a book where the level of argument varies substantially, from explanation of GDP to reference-filled discussions of complex statistical relationships. It was based on a grant from an American institute to devote a year to identifying the “main research results” in the areas of IT innovation and productivity, and it is useful to have this summarized in an accessible format. I will limit myself to the authors’ (B&S) main
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About_Brynjolfsson - NGO 091222 Notes on Brynjolfsson, Erik...

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