The affordances provided by institutions

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

In October 2020 I participated in a week-long exploratory retreat hosted by Cognitive Edge. Actually, there were two different events in the same month and I experienced them as one event where we explored amazing concepts around complexity, sense making, aesthetics, knowledge management and so on. During one of the many breakout groups of these… Continue reading The affordances provided by institutions

Post 4: Technological Institutions that disseminate knowledge

This is the fourth post in this series about building technological capability. In 2011 I explained how we define technology in a broad way. This definition looks beyond hardware to include knowledge and organization of the different elements. For instance, if a company decides to achieve a new standard of compliance, that is seen as… Continue reading Post 4: Technological Institutions that disseminate knowledge

Preparing for a different manufacturing future

In Africa, we face the challenge of a manufacturing sector that often manufactures products in low volumes. In a country like South Africa, we manufacture a wide range of products but often at low scale. Even our manufacturers that manufacture in larger volumes are still small compared to European or Asian competitors. In some parts… Continue reading Preparing for a different manufacturing future

Building institutions that supports knowledge flows to industry

It sounds like a cliche to state that manufacturing has changed a lot in the last 30 years. Yet people often say this without thinking of how it has changed. It is not just about the size of our manufacturers, or the increased competition from Asia or elsewhere. It is also not about the sophisticated… Continue reading Building institutions that supports knowledge flows to industry

Localisation and building domestic manufacturing capacity

At the moment I am spending most of my time working with the more traditional manufacturing sector in South Africa. Traditional apparently means non-advanced, but it would be a mistake to think that because a particular object (like a metal casting) has been made for 8000 years that there is nothing advanced about it. For… Continue reading Localisation and building domestic manufacturing capacity

Job creation for electronics contract manufacturing

I know some readers are waiting for the continuation of the series on the services sector. Apologies for the delay. In the meantime, here is a link to a lead editorial that I wrote for the EngineerIT Journal in Southern Africa. The article is informed by my ongoing work in the electronics sector in South… Continue reading Job creation for electronics contract manufacturing

New series: the role of the service sector in economic development

It is time for me to venture into one of my other favourite topics: the service sector and its role in economic development. With this I am not shifting into promoting  like DVD rentals (don’t worry), I am mainly interested in the knowledge intensive business sector (a.k.a KIBS) and how it enables economic growth and… Continue reading New series: the role of the service sector in economic development

Why the advanced sectors are so often overlooked

It is amazing how little support the advanced sectors of our economy receives from public sources. It seems like this disinterest is caused by multiple factors. One, it is not in line with the priorities of the labour movement. The labour unions prefer a focus on job creation for low skilled workers. However, research has… Continue reading Why the advanced sectors are so often overlooked

The increased importance of knowledge-intensive business services in a knowledge-intensive era

As some of you may know, my PhD research was all about knowledge intensive business services and market failures. In a recent publication I wrote a short piece on knowledge intensive business services that we did not use in the final publication. I thought that perhaps it would be useful to some of my readers… Continue reading The increased importance of knowledge-intensive business services in a knowledge-intensive era

Finance now SA’s biggest sector

In a new report by the SA Institute for Race Relations (SAIRR), it is reported that the financial sectors contribution to the country’s GDP in 2008 was 22%, the manufacturing sector 19%, while government itself added 15%. Mining is at 9.5% and agriculture at 3.3%. The report confirms statistics from Statistics South Africa that shows… Continue reading Finance now SA’s biggest sector