As sources of legitimation for the assignment of social status, education and training systems are more strongly rooted in particular national traditions than other social institutions. Most typologies of national skill systems focus on the differences in general and vocational education in upper secondary school. However, with increasing investment in preschool education, the expansion of university education and the growing importance of education and training for adults, comparative researchers are paying increasing attention to the education and training system as a whole, with the result that country typologies are necessarily becoming more complex. The chapter shows that we must bid farewell to the myth that the sole objective of education and training reforms is to increase economic efficiency. In modern democracies, reforms of education and training systems are often characterised by conflicts between the protection of status, on the one hand, and increasing equality, on the other.
Paul M. Hirsch and Daniel A. Gruber
During the 20th century, the creation and distribution of popular culture became increasingly centralized by a small number of mega-media companies, which came to control not only national but global markets. This chapter traces the transformation and revision of this model for the production and dissemination of popular fads and fashions. We show how the advent of inexpensive and accessible digital technologies has enabled creators to produce and circulate cultural products at lower cost and much more widely. This more bottom-up model of culture production has impacted the domination of mega-media, providing local and regional artists greater exposure and engagement with new fans and audiences. The downloading of music and e-books, and streaming of video content altered and disrupted the ‘traditional’ ways of these industries. Their slow response and resistance, in turn, facilitated the rise of new web-based competitors and frameworks that better link artist and audience. Our portrait of how these mechanisms have changed is considered within the framework of Hirsch’s initial analysis and continued tracking of cultural industries’ operation. This update takes further account of how wider gatekeeping and the disintermediation of earlier pathways were enabled by new technologies and corporations. These, in turn, created new forms of web-based distribution and narrowed the number of ‘go to’ sites, thereby recentralizing and re-intermediating control over this segment of the cultural industry system.
Information systems in developing countries (ISDC) research tends to focus on the development and implementation of information technology applications and the organizational changes associated with them. This article refers this object of study of ISDC research, as ‘IS innovation’ to convey the notion of novelty of experiences of IS implementation and the associated changes within the organization. This article presents two perspectives regarding the nature of the IS innovation process: as transfer and diffusion and as socially embedded action and draws relevant examples from the literature on IS implementation to demonstrate them. It then discusses the four discourses formed with examples from the literature on software industries in developing countries. Finally, it argues for the need to develop theoretical capabilities for studying IS innovation in relation to socio-economic contexts and to increase awareness and use of socio-economic development theory.
Mingwei Liu and David Finegold
This chapter aims to provide a review and analysis of skill development in China and India that do not neatly fit any skill formation model found in the literature. Although both China and India have made some impressive achievements in skill formation in the past two decades, great challenges remain on their way toward high-skill equilibrium including providing a strong educational foundation for vulnerable groups, corruption and rising inequality, skills mismatch, and raising employer skill demands. Despite many similar goals and challenges, the trajectories of skill development of the two countries are shaped by different sets of political, socioeconomic, institutional, cultural, demographic, and organizational factors, leading to two different skill formation and demand models with some complementary strengths and weaknesses.
Alan M. Rugman and Alain Verbeke
This article analyses the interactions between environmental policy and international business. More specifically, a conceptual framework is developed which allows us to classify the various types of environmental regulations facing firms engaged in international business. In addition, an analysis is performed of the different environmental strategies that can be pursued by multinational enterprises (MNEs). During the past few decades, environmental issues have increasingly come to the forefront, both on public policy agendas and in corporate boardrooms. Specialized academic journals have been introduced that focus exclusively on environmental issues. Moreover, many of the mainstream economics and management journals now regularly publish articles dealing with the environmental policy–corporate strategy interface. However, only a few publications have, so far, included conceptual insights specifically useful to international business. In contrast, this article focuses specifically on international business research issues.
Migrants are increasingly skilled. Historically British emigration was disproportionately skilled and new comparative OECD data shows the continuing brain drain from Europe to the USA. However skilled migration is best understood as skilled mobility not migration: permanent settlement in a destination country is a limiting case within a multiplicity of movements exemplified by the international commuting of the financial services elite. Immigration policies increasingly attempt to attract the best and the brightest. Rising mobility is driven by firms’ recruitment policies, but also by individuals’ motivations which are often non-financial. Skilled mobility is now claimed to benefit both origin and destination countries through circular migration and knowledge transfer. However, skilled mobility can also promote privatisation of higher education in origin countries and lower investment in training in receiving countries. A typology of skilled mobility suggests some forms can increase income inequality in destination countries.
This article addresses the relationship between IT, globalization, and human development, and discusses how IS research can inform our understanding of this relationship. It summarizes some key literature on globalization through the eyes of various well-known scholars of the contemporary world. All of them argue the need for increasing reflection and changed action in order to make a better world or to support human development in its broadest sense. This is followed by globalization and presents a brief discussion of ‘human development’ arguing that this is needed by all people and countries, not just by the developing countries. The argument is made that IS researchers can contribute by addressing their research explicitly to issues of human development through a critical approach. Two illustrations are given of critical research on IT in a globalized world, namely health information systems and IT for the poor.
Cathie Jo Martin
Some countries develop the (general) skills of industrial workers largely through regular secondary education systems whereas other nations rely on a network of industrial schools and apprenticeship programs to offer their workers credentialed industry or firm-specific occupational skills. Skills Builders delves into the origins of diverse forms. First, patterns of industrial development and economic cleavages shaped the development of skills-training institutions; thus countries with stark regional heterogeneity have been less likely to develop national training systems. Second, the legacies from pre-industrial patterns of cooperation in some nations – most prominently, from the guild system – have encouraged both employers and workers to negotiate collective vocational training institutions. Third, the political features of the state (most importantly, the structure of party competition and degree of federal power sharing) reinforce or work against collectivist solutions to skills needs, cooperative industrial relations systems, and entrenched regional cleavages. Finally, both employers and workers become more committed to skills training when these groups are institutionally well-organized and are given a significant role in the creation and oversight of training programs.
This chapter considers patterns of skills demand and policy developments in the advanced economies. Determining the actual and anticipated skills demands of employers and individuals are key challenges for policy makers and an area of ongoing interest for academics. This chapter considers academic debates about skills demand, including whether upskilling or deskilling is taking place, as well as the increasing focus on ‘soft’ skills rather than traditional technical skills. This discussion is followed by data on trends and forecasting of skills development. How and where policy and practice positions are formulated are considered for both Coordinated Market Economies (CMEs) and Liberal Market Economies (LMEs), as well as the shifting policy positions and policy interventions. The chapter concludes with a commentary on these debates, trends and interventions.