Tendencies of High Tech Industries

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There are several locational tendencies that determine the distributional patterns of high-tech industries, which are the application of intensive research and development efforts to the creation and manufacture of new products of an advanced scientific and engineering character. Examples include electronics, communication, computers, software, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and aerospace. Recently, other forms have developed, such as robotics, computer-aided design and manufacturing, electronic controls of smelting and refining processes, constant development of new products of the chemical industries. High-tech industries are found in Silicon Valley, Silicon Forest, North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Utah’s Software Valley, Silicon Swamp, and the Canadian Technology Triangle. There are five main locational tendencies that affect production decisions.

The first factor is the proximity to major universities or research facilities and to a large pool of scientific and technical labor skills. Because companies are always looking for new and more science-centered employees, they tend to locate near colleges that major in related fields. One example of this is Stanford University, which is near Silicon Valley. Important universities draw more people in, so the areas with high-tech facilities prefer at least a couple of well-known colleges. Another factor is avoidance of areas with strong labor unionization where contract rigidities might slow process innovation and work-force flexibility. Unionization is basically when employees are combined, so they can fight to raise wages, and it becomes difficult to fire somebody. Most companies try to avoid this, as it takes the power from the boss and gives it to the workers. Examples of this can mainly be found in school districts, where unionization increases as the number of years the employees have worked increases. Having unionization in high-tech facilities would limit new ideas, because, if a worker ran out of...
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