Doctoral Dissertation Research: Collaboration and Innovation in the Commercial Geographic Information System Industry
Alan MacPherson Principal Investigator
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Hartung, Valerie SUNY at Buffalo The study is designed to examine collaborative efforts utilized by firms in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) sector in the U.S. through a series of site interviews. The goal is to investigate the spatial and organizational nature of linkages with particular emphasis upon the impact of joint ventures in technological development and innovation diffusion. The research will investigate the nature and origins of innovation within the GIS sector and whether technological innovation is approached internally or externally. In addition the spatial connection, and especially the presence of a distance decay factor, will be investigated. The presence or absence of computing and telecommunication advances upon the scope of collaborative ventures will be studied. A mail survey will be conducted upon the population of GIS firms and is intended to assess the technical contribution of external forward and backward linkages, export propensity, and locational attributes of the responding firms. The survey will be followed by on-site interviews of firm executives. The goal of these interviews is to understand the firm's observed behavior in light of its competitive strategy, product technology, production methods, labor relations and the behavior of competitors. The study will illuminate the potential impact of information technologies in the North American economy and on its ability to develop and transfer innovation into marketable products and services.