Śle­dziew­ska, K., & Włoch, R. (2021). The Eco­no­mics of Digi­tal Trans­for­ma­tion: The Disrup­tion of Mar­kets, Pro­duc­tion, Con­sump­tion, and Work (1st ed.). Routled­ge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003144359

Book and e‑book

The Disruption of Markets, Production, Consumption, and Work

Prof. Kata­rzy­na Śle­dziew­ska, prof. Rena­ta Włoch, Prof. UW

How are digi­tal pro­ces­ses trans­for­ming tra­di­tio­nal busi­ness models? Czy inte­li­gent­na auto­ma­ty­za­cja zagra­ża naszym miej­scom pra­cy? Are we appro­aching the end of glo­ba­li­sa­tion as we know it? How can we best pre­pa­re our­se­lves and our chil­dren for life in a digi­tal­ly trans­for­med world?

ISBN: 978–10-031‑4435‑9
Lon­don 2021

In the new book Prof. Kata­rzy­na Śle­dziew­ska, Prof. UW and Prof. Rena­ta Włoch, Prof. UW pre­sent a con­ci­se the­ore­ti­cal and con­cep­tu­al fra­me­work for the pro­cess of digi­ta­li­sa­tion of the eco­no­my and its mecha­ni­sms, iden­ti­fy­ing the key mecha­ni­sms of the chan­ges ana­ly­sed: data­fi­ca­tion(data effects) and plat­for­mi­sa­tion(network effects). The unpre­ce­den­ted situ­ation of a glo­bal pan­de­mic has chan­ged the func­tio­ning of indi­vi­du­als, but also of enti­re eco­no­mic sectors.

The authors seek to answer a num­ber of key questions abo­ut key deve­lop­ments in the digi­tal economy:

The digi­tal eco­no­my being inhe­ren­tly glo­ba­li­sed, this is par­ti­cu­lar­ly true for tra­de in servi­ces, which incre­asin­gly inc­lu­des digi­tal infor­ma­tion goods (digi­tal con­tent), smart pro­ducts, servi­ces (digi­tal and loca­li­sed) pro­vi­ded thro­ugh glo­bal digi­tal plat­forms. This chan­ges not only the posi­tion of coun­tries in the glo­bal eco­no­my, but also the posi­tion of govern­ments them­se­lves in rela­tion to the so-cal­led „Big Techs”. The huge shift towards remo­te wor­king, edu­ca­tion and enter­ta­in­ment has incre­ased the depen­den­ce of house­holds and busi­nesses on digi­tal infra­struc­tu­re, pro­ducts and servi­ces pro­vi­ded by a hand­ful of power­ful Big Techs.

The con­cep­tu­al fra­me­work deve­lo­ped, upda­ted with the effects of the COVID-19 pan­de­mic and the asso­cia­ted acce­le­ra­ted digi­ta­li­sa­tion, is help­ful in con­struc­ting empi­ri­cal­ly ancho­red inter­pre­ta­tions, ana­ly­ses and ope­ra­tio­nal know­led­ge rela­ted to the digi­tal economy.

The book con­ta­ins nume­ro­us refe­ren­ces to aca­de­mic rese­arch in eco­no­mics and socio­lo­gy as well as empi­ri­cal exam­ples drawn from basic and applied rese­arch con­duc­ted at DELab UW.

From the book…
„The unpre­ce­den­ted cri­sis reve­aled the sca­le and sco­pe of a new type of eco­no­my taking sha­pe in front of our very eyes. This book sets out to iden-tify its mecha­ni­sms and mani­fe­sta­tions. Its most visi­ble featu­re is the expo­nen-tial growth of data pro­du­ced by the ubi­qu­ito­us con­nec­ted digi­tal devi­ces and flo­wing thro­ugh onli­ne networks. Appli­ca­tion of ever more effi­cient tools for col­lec­tion, pro­ces­sion, and ana­ly­sis, par­ti­cu­lar­ly the algo­ri­thms of arti­fi­cial intel­li­gen­ce, allows for deri­ving eco­no­mic, social, and poli­ti­cal value out of the­se abun­dant data (later in the book, we will use the notion of data­fi­ca­tion to rela­te to this pro­cess of dra­wing value from abun­dant data by intel­li­gent algo­ri­thms). New digi­tal busi­ness models, such as plat­forms, reor­ga­ni­se the mar­ket, ente­ring into new sec­tors of the eco­no­my. The natu­re of work and employ­ment rela­tions is being alte­red, along with the modes of pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion. The essen­tial func­tions of the sta­te are chan­ging, along with the rules gover­ning the glo­bal eco­no­mic order. Socie­ty, the eco­no­my, and poli­tics are all under­go­ing mul­ti­ple digi­tal trans­for­ma­tions”. (pp. xiv)
„Now it is the time to get back to the pro­per­ties of the digi­tal eco­no­my and bra­ve ano­ther appro­xi­ma­tion at its defi­ni­tion. Digi­tal eco­no­my builds on the basis of the inter­net eco­no­my – it takes com­pu­te­ri­sa­tion, auto­ma­tion, and inter­net con­nec­ted­ness to the next level of ubi­qu­ito­us com­pu­ting via digi­tal devi­ces, intel­li­gent auto­ma­tion eve­ry­whe­re, and plat­for­mi­sa­tion. It is also cha­rac­te­ri­sed by the extra­or­di­na­ry pace of inno­va­tion. As we have shown ear­lier in this chap­ter, digi­tal devi­ces such as smart­pho­nes con­sist of four lay­ers: devi­ce (har­dwa­re), con­nec­tion (network), servi­ce (softwa­re), and con­tent (data). Inno­va­tions may appe­ar on each lay­er inde­pen­den­tly, and they fre­qu­en­tly enhan­ce each other, pro­du­cing yet ano­ther inno­va­tion. The tru­ly trans­for­ma­ti­ve inno­va­tions now are less often in the devi­ce or network, but in the way softwa­re and data are used (…) More and more com­pa­nies deftly use the poten-tial of data and networks to opti­mi­se the­ir func­tio­ning by adop­ting the ‘data first, AI- first’ rule. Digi­tal models and solu­tions now per­me­ate almost eve­ry sec­tor of the eco­no­my in most coun­tries, from servi­ce indu­stries to manu­fac-turing, and agri­cul­tu­re”. (pp. 22–23)
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