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Future of the Corporation Research - Technology

What are the implications of the growth of intangible assets for the structure and operation of corporations? As the boundaries of the firm change, how should firms respond to this and will large corporations persist in their current form in the face of new technologies? As our planet changes and acclimatises to new technologies, what is the future of the corporation in a resource constrained world, and are corporates harnessing new ideas and development to be responsive to the changing environment? What are the prospects for employment in the face of new technologies? How will work patterns need to change in the future? Looking at future changes, what can we learn from past technological revolutions about how new forms of employment emerge and how society and business adapted to them? What role does government have in reskilling and training the labour force? What have archaeological explorations and history shown us about how businesses have adapted to changing technologies through the ages?

How should businesses adapt to changing technology and scientific opportunities and how will these affect the future of the corporation?

Lead Researcher(s) - Group 1 Institution
Professor Julian Birkinshaw London Business School

Group 1 The researcher will base the research on interviews and an interpretation of historical and contemporary sources. It will consider, in particular, ‘institutional innovation’, i.e. new laws, regulations and frameworks at a national or societal level that enable businesses to function more effectively in a changing business environment. It will develop a distinctive point of view on how institutional innovation transpires, what the drivers of and obstacles to the process are, and thus where the biggest opportunities for further institutional innovation might be. The project will include specific thoughts on where future research might be prioritised with implications both for executives in firms, and for policymakers and regulators.

Lead Researcher(s) - Group 2
Professor Yishay Yafeh
Professor Sharon Belenzon
Professor Assaf Hamdani
Professor Niron Hashai
Professor Eugene Kandel
Hebrew University, CEPR and ECGI
Duke University and NBER
Tel Aviv University and ECGI
Hebrew University and IDC
Hebrew University, SNC, CEPR and ECGI

Group 2 The inter-disciplinary team of researchers will start with an analysis of broad trends in technology and their possible effects, primarily on corporations and also on the labour market. Next the research will discuss the implications of this process - how would technological changes affect the equilibrium in an industry and the actions of individual corporate players in it. It will discuss the change in light of existing theories of the firm and the boundaries of corporation. It plans to assess the required changes to adapt these theories to the new environment, and the ability of corporations, especially the large ones, to become nimble and adaptive, and to create formats for collaboration with the outside innovative world. The discussion will explore organizational forms and practices that are conducive to adopting and generating innovation. Finally, it will also address the legal implications of these changes.

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