Weekly Reads – Sept 4

On democracy – The current issue of Science has a special section dedicated to democracy Articles cover a wide range of topics including immigration, inequality and activism. Just last week, Economist also had a plot showing the increasing support towards autocrats by people in weaker democracies. In the plot, my country the Philippines has increased support for “Having the army rule is good.” Scary times ahead. It’s difficult to not feel powerless in this situation. Yet, I’m hopeful that the brilliant social scientists working on this topic could come up with ways to better support democracy.

Is disruptive innovation in emerging economies different? Evidence from China – When we think of disruptive innovation, it is natural to think of the Ubers and the Netflixes of the world. However, disruptive innovation can manifest differently in emerging economies. The authors argue that, in China, disruptive innovations emerge by improving value propositions through cost innovation, quickly iterating to improve the quality of their offerings, launching directly to mass-market and placing efficient production processes.

Conceptualising technology, its development and future: The six genres of technology – Creates a typology of technology based on various combinations of relationships between humans and artefacts. It’s interesting how they weave the coming AI apocalypse throughout the article.

The impact of technology transfer and knowledge spillover from Big Science: a literature review – Big science refers to this phenomenon where scientific experiments require larger and larger groups of scientists, needing funding from groups of governments. The term is associated with organizations/projects like CERN, NASA and the Human Genome Project. The outcomes of these experiments impact society in real, tangible ways as documented by this review.

Does the merger of universities promote their scientific research performance? Evidence from China – universities around the world have become so conscious of their ranking. France for instance has been featured in the Economist recently for their Paris Saclay initiative which combines many of their research organizations in Paris to improve their rankings. In China, however, these mergers have not proved to be too successful due to difficulties in cultural integration and reaching economies of scale.

Confidential Gossip and Organization Studies – It still fascinates me how researchers can study phenomena of all kinds. This one is interesting considering how prevalent gossip can be yet how understudied they are in general.

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