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Knowledge AssetsSecuring Competitive Advantage in the Information Economy$
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Max H. Boisot

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198296072.001.0001

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The Paradox of Value

The Paradox of Value

Chapter:
(p.70) 4The Paradox of Value
Source:
Knowledge Assets
Author(s):

Max H. Boisot

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198296072.003.0004

Knowledge assets are a source of competitive gain for firms that have them. They allow them to bring greater products or services to market quicker and in greater volumes than their competitors can match. Yet the way that the possession of a knowledge asset translates into competitive advantage remains ill-understood. Extracting value from knowledge assets entails an ability to manage them as they emerge, wax, and wane through the actions of the SLC. In moving its knowledge through an SLC, however, a firm incurs both data-processing and data-transmission costs. When it comes to formation of value, knowledge assets vary from physical assets in important respects. The supply of physical goods is fully constrained by their spatio-temporal extension, while that of information goods is much less so. Information goods exhibit a natural scarcity only when they are deeply embedded in some physical substrate that is limited in space and time.

Keywords:   knowledge assets, competitive gain, SLC, data-processing costs, data-transmission costs, information goods

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