Dissertation Information for Jae Whoan Lee
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Title: Information dependency and information development in newly industrialized countries (NICs): The case of the Republic of Korea (ROK)
Abstract: The main objective of this dissertation lies in discussing dependency issues as related to information development in NICs. The theoretical foundation was drawn from theories of "dependency" and of "information societies." The main assertion of the dependency school (the more dependency, the less development) was applied for a test of the relationship between dependency on foreign scientific and technical information (STI) resources and indigenous STI development in NICs. Utilizing a case study method, this dissertation explored the causes and results of dependency on foreign scientific and technical information (STI) in a leading NIC--The Republic of Korea (ROK). First identified were the economic factors that might have influenced the ROK's dependency on foreign STI. Also investigated were the social factors that might have had associations with the R&D personnel's dependency on foreign STI resources. Regarding the development of information area, this study discussed general features in the ROK's national information policy and infrastructure as well as major changes in the process of producing, organizing, and gatekeeping indigenous STI. Identified regarding the ROK's information dependency was the R&D personnel's pattern of using foreign STI resources and the country's dependency on foreign STI resources and technologies. This study also discussed the socio-economic progress toward an information society in ROK for the past decades. Finally, specific linkages between the selected five variables were examined on the basis of the proposed four hypotheses. The major findings include: (1) there is a significant relationship between social dependency and information dependency; (2) the more dependent on foreign technologies for economic development, the more dependent on foreign STI resources; (3) the more dependent on foreign STI resources, the less productive at the domestic level of S&T research; (4) the more productive at the international level of S&T research, the further along is the evolution toward an information society; and (5) the more investment to the R&D sector, the further along is the evolution toward an information society.
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