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Living in 'Two Spaces': New Progress in Geography and the Implications for Organisations

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Feng Li


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With the rapid development of computing and telecommunications infrastructure, a new electronic space has emerged which co-exists, and sometimes intertwines, with the physical space and place of our world. This has greatly increased the complexity and flexibility of the new space economy for organisations and individuals, and increasingly we have to live in 'two spaces'. Since the late 1980s, geographers have successfully dismissed the misconception about the 'death of distance' in the information economy through systematic research. However, new progress in geography has been slow to spill into other disciplines. Utopian views about the 'end of geography' remain very influential in current business thinking and in research on information systems and organisational innovations. Numerous failed business applications of information systems have been resulted from a lack of geographical considerations. The situation is significantly exacerbated in the last few years by rapid developments of the Internet and new applications based on it (such as e-commerce). Geographers have the duty not only to understand the new geography of the information economy, but also to inform the public about the key features of the 'two spaces' that all organisations and individuals have to live in. In this paper, some case studies and emerging business phenomena are used to illustrate the importance of introducing a geographical dimension in research on information systems and organisational innovations. Several new themes for further research will also be highlighted.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Netcom

Year: 2000

Volume: 14

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 359-377

ISSN (print): 0987-6014

Publisher: France Telecom, Recherche et Developpement