Between physical and electronic spaces: The implications for organisations in the networked economy

F. Li, J.L. Whalley, H.P. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


With the rapid development of computing and telecommunications infrastructure, a new electronic space has emerged which coexists, 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 researchers have successfully dismissed the misconception about the 'death of distance' in the information economy. However, the dissemination of this progress has been slow and fragmented. 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 resulted from a lack of geographical considerations. This situation has been significantly exacerbated in the last few years by the rapid developments of the Internet and new applications based on it, such as e-commerce and e-business. Researchers have a 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 into research on information systems and organisational innovations. Several new themes for further research are also highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-716
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


  • organisations
  • telecommunications
  • electronics
  • e-commerce
  • e-business

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