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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Leapfrogging an IT Sector

Leapfrogging an IT Sector
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Author(s): Eileen M. Trauth (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 4
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch380


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Accompanying the global spread of the post-industrial society (Bell, 1973) are nations who see economic opportunity deriving from the development of an information economy to support it (Porat, 1977). But while advanced industrialized nations moved gradually from industrial to post-industrial work over a period of decades, newly industrializing countries are “leapfrogging” directly from agrarian to informationintensive work in a matter of years. Given this rapid labor force transformation, a critical consideration in the development of a global information sector is the development and management of information technology (IT) workers. Ireland is an appropriate country for examination of this leapfrog phenomenon because it was one of the earliest examples of this phenomenon, having developed its information sector rapidly and successfully through inward investment by multinational firms during the 1970s to the 1990s. Thus, this case offers the point of view of both an advanced industrialized or “first wave” country and of a “second wave” country that is taking an alternate path into the information economy by rapidly moving directly from an agrarian or partially-developed industrial economy into an information economy. Since Ireland was one of the earliest examples of “leapfrogging”, the Irish case has lessons applicable to other contexts (Trauth, 2000).

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