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SOCNET  April 2003

SOCNET April 2003

Subject:

Call for Abstracts: The ambiguous role of ICT in regional inter-firm clusters: Towards a better empirical knowledge base for theorizing

From:

Varghese George <[log in to unmask]>

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[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 21 Apr 2003 11:45:09 -0400

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*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****

Call for Abstracts: The ambiguous role of ICT in regional inter-firm
clusters: Towards a better empirical knowledge base for theorizing

Workshop for the International Conference on Communities and Technologies,
Amsterdam, September 19-21, 2003

http://www-winfo.uni-siegen.de/wulf/CT2003/

Organizers
Charles Steinfield, Michigan State University ([log in to unmask]) Brian
Pentland, Michigan State University ([log in to unmask]) Varghese George,
Rutgers University ([log in to unmask])

Please send abstracts via email to Brian Pentland, [log in to unmask]

Abstracts are due by May 15, 2003. Participants will be notified by June
15th, which is two weeks before the early registration deadline for the
conference. Information on the full C&T 2003 conference can be found at
http://www-winfo.uni-siegen.de/wulf/CT2003/.

Objectives of Workshop
The importance of inter-firm networks continues to grow, and many
researchers have noted that these networks are often regionally or
geographically based. Much attention has been given to the need to provide
adequate information infrastructures so that such regional inter-firm
clusters can flourish. The evidence regarding ICT usage and benefits in such
clusters, both for internal coordination in the cluster (e.g. CSCW and
collaborative commerce) and for contact with external markets (e.g. B2B and
B2C ecommerce)is mixed at best. In this workshop, we want to explore the
role of ICTs in such networks. The focus on Research questions concerning
ICT is driven by the theme of the overall conference, which is about
"communities and technology."

There are a growing number of studies of such networks, but it is difficult
to generalize or aggregate the results of this work. We Believe that a
workshop such as this provides an important opportunity for researchers to
share ideas and possibly coordinate their efforts. In this way, it may be
possible to gain insights that would otherwise be beyond reach.

This workshop is not intended as a tutorial. Rather, it is designed to
maximize interaction time among researchers who are actively engaged in
research on inter-firm clusters. We would also welcome participation by
researchers interested in starting up projects in this area.

Abstract format and selection criteria
Abstracts should provide a concise summary of an existing or proposed
research project involving inter-firm clusters (3-4 pages maximum). The
abstract should mention the research context/sites, methods, and theoretical
perspective, as well as contact information and a brief biography of the
presenter or key project participants.

Since we are hoping to encourage dialog among active researchers, we will
give priority to participants who are engaged in current projects. But
projects in any stage of progress will be considered.

Organization of the workshop
This will be a half-day workshop, organized as follows.

Introductions and Orientation
The organizers will provide a brief orientation to some themes and issues,
such as: What are regional clusters and why are they important? What is the
role of ICT in these clusters? What methods can we use to study phenomena
related to these clusters?

Participant Case Studies
In this section, selected participants will present overviews of their
current work. To insure a common basis for conversation, participants will
be asked to address some common questions: What is the nature of the
cluster? What is the role of ICT? What methods are being used for the
research? The length of each presentation will depend on the number of
abstracts accepted for presentation.

Discussion and future directions
The cases presented by the participants will provide for the basis for
further discussion. We plan to focus on opportunities for comparative
research. For example, is it possible to create a "meta" knowledge base of
cases studies on this topic? A major goal would be to create a common format
for profiling business clusters and their ICT use so that groups doing
related research could easily add their findings to the common knowledge
base.


Organizer Biographies

Professor Charles Steinfield, Michigan State University
Charles Steinfield is a Professor in the Department of Telecommunication at
Michigan State University. He received his PhD in Communication from the
Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. His research on
computer supported collaboration in virtual teams, and on the effect of
electronic commerce on buyer-seller relations and industry value chains has
been funded by the National Science Foundation. His articles have appeared
in such journals as Organization Science, Communication Research, Electronic
Markets, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Information Technology,
Telecommunications Policy, Info, and Journal of Computer-Mediated
Communication.

Professor Brian Pentland, Michigan State University
Brian T. Pentland is an Associate Professor in the Department of Accounting
and Information Systems at Michigan State University. He received his PhD in
Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991. His
research on process management and process analysis has been funded by the
National Science Foundation and the Citigroup Behavioral Sciences Research
Council. His publications have appeared in Academy of Management Review,
Accounting, Organizations and Society, Administrative Science Quarterly,
Management Science, Organization Science, Technology Studies and elsewhere.

Professor Varghese George, Rutgers University
Dr. Varghese George's principal area of research is the management of
innovation. He has two Masters Degrees, in Management and Nuclear
Engineering, and a Ph.D. degree in management from MIT. George is
particularly interested in strategies for managing external Relationships in
supply chains, and in issues related to trust, power, and flow of knowledge.
In his more recent work, he examines the influence of geographical clusters
on alliances and firm strategies related to memberships in multiple
geographical clusters. George also does research on organizational
communication networks and is interested in the influence of communication
on innovation, and the influence of architecture and organizational
structure on communication networks. His publications have appeared in
Administrative Science Quarterly, Managerial and Decision Economics, R&D
Management, and elsewhere.

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

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