Information and Uncertainty

  • Gordon Boyce
  • Simon Ville


Today, there is much speculation about the formidable opportunities and challenges presented by new communication technology. The internet is expected to cause national markets to become integrated into a global arena by lowering the cost and enhancing the speed of making transactions. At the same time, the ‘boundary units’ shown in Figure 1.4 are confronting a growing flood of information about environmental conditions. The need to process this data and make it accessible to decision-makers is compelling firms to invest in ‘knowledge-management’ systems and ‘intranets’. Moreover, the internet is spawning ‘virtual firms’ run by a core of entrepreneurial specialists linked by e-mail to knowledge workers who contract to perform specific tasks. What these unfolding trends reveal is that changes in communication technology have a direct impact on the institutional arrangements included in Figure 1.2. Simultaneously, they enlarge markets, increase the span of corporate control, and encourage the proliferation of cooperative structures.


Bounded Rationality National Market Corporate Control Freight Rate Cultural Force 
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Further Reading

  1. Du Boff, R.B. (1980) ‘The Telegraph and the Structure of Markets in the United States, 1844–60’, Business History Review, 54 (4).Google Scholar
  2. Cochran, T.C. (1977) 200 Years of American Business (New York: Basic Books).Google Scholar
  3. Gourvish, T.R. (1980) Railways and the British Economy, 1830–1914 (London: Macmillan—now Palgrave).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. John, R. R. (1995) Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklyn to Morse (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
  5. Liebeskind, J.P. (1997) ‘Keeping Organisational Secrets: Protective Institutional Mechanisms and their Costs’, Industrial and Corporate Change, 6 (3).Google Scholar
  6. Stearns, P.N. (1998) The Industrial Revolution in World History, 2nd edn (Boulder: Westview Press).Google Scholar
  7. Yates, J. (1989) Control Through Communication (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gordon Boyce and Simon Ville 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Boyce
  • Simon Ville

There are no affiliations available

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