The information revolution: information systems and the 6th Kondratieff cycle

Carl Adams, S. Mouatt

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This theoretical paper critically assesses existing long wave discourse which classifies the current set of innovation surges as part of a 5th Kondratieff cycle, with the 6th likely to be based on nanotechnologies or bio-medical technologies. Kondratieff long wave theory provides a strong cognitive tool to examine such innovation surges. This paper argues that the existing discourse is incorrect: the 5th Kondratieff cycle should be classed as the age of computing while the 6th should be classed as the age of the information superhighway. The 5th Kondratieff wave was about computing and basic communication technologies, while the 6th is about ubiquitous access to the Internet as an information superhighway and conduit for social and technological innovation. This paper defines attributes of the 6th Kondratieff and argues that the 6th Kondratieff cycles is the domain of the IS discipline – it is less about technology per se and more about aspects of people, organizational and the wider environmental attributes where social innovations dominate. The IS mindset and supporting tools help to examine and shape the directions within the information revolution. The paper further introduces the concept of innovation diffusion conduits.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventMCIS 2010 Proceedings - Tel Alvi
Duration: 1 Sept 2010 → …


ConferenceMCIS 2010 Proceedings
CityTel Alvi
Period1/09/10 → …


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