Investigations into the dynamics of the ICT ecosystem in Luxembourg

Binsfeld, Nico (2018) Investigations into the dynamics of the ICT ecosystem in Luxembourg. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are increasingly acknowledged as a General-Purpose Technology touching all sectors of the economy and offering the potential of technological improvements, increases in productivity and innovation as well as economic growth. Nevertheless, there is an on-going, fervent debate amongst scholars, practitioners and policy makers about the relevance of ICT as a sector of the economy in its own right. Consequently, researchers have shown great interest in examining the importance and the development of ICT ecosystems in different countries and regions of the world. Up until now, however, smaller countries have often been overlooked, perhaps guided by an assumption that findings from larger economies could simply be transposed to such settings. This thesis set outs to address this research gap by investigating the ICT industry in Luxembourg, focusing on key developments since the telecommunications market was liberalised in the late 1990s as a means of identifying the main forces shaping developments within the sector in the period between 2000 and 2017.

This research aim has been broken down into four specific research objectives, which were: to examine the size and the structure of the ICT ecosystem in Luxembourg; to understand the role of the state as policy maker, regulator and as actor within the ecosystem; to analyse the current strengths and weaknesses of the ICT ecosystem and, to identify the needs for specific changes and improvements.
Overall, a critical realist approach has been adopted for the research, applying a quantitative analysis on existing data and complementing this with a qualitative approach building on new empirical data. Working for over 30 years as a manager and executive within media, telecommunication and ICT in Luxembourg, the author was able to interact with many senior professionals within the ICT industry in Luxembourg. Thus over 70 interviews have been conducted with a sample of executives from ICT organisations and institutions such as regulators, policy makers or promotion agencies. The outcomes of these interviews were complemented and triangulated with the help a 4-year long press review and an analysis of publicly available secondary sources.

One of the primary research outcomes has been a detailed identification and discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of Luxembourg’s ICT ecosystem. Luxembourg has done well to focus on developing its ICT infrastructures and triggering the use of these infrastructures. Luxembourg has also performed well in liberalising its telecommunication sector and encouraging competition. In doing so, Luxembourg has been able to improve its position in terms of its ranking in international ICT related indices. However, Luxembourg’s weaknesses have been identified in terms of marketing and communication in the context of international competition, limited risk taking and the lack of creativity and entrepreneurship.

An unexpected finding arose as it appeared that Luxembourg had neglected to develop or sustain a labour force with the necessary underlying e-skills and ICT competences. This problem has been acknowledged since and some initial remedial actions have been taken.

A major contribution to knowledge is a new conceptual and methodological framework to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of ICT ecosystems. This framework can be seen as a development and extension of the ICT ecosystem model developed by Martin Fransman. It may also potentially be applied to similar environments in order to make sense of their ICT ecosystem, or indeed to other network related ecosystems. Finally, the author has determined some implications for policy makers and suggested avenues for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N200 Management studies
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2019 16:02
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 09:46
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/38086

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