Welcome to week seven, screen side chats. This week, the first question I want to answer was one that I had posted from last year. And it was asked by Eugenia Gycina, and she asked, can those who control resources control decisions? And if so, what makes the most powerful resource, physical, technical or social resources? And then she goes on to write, for example, Drucker argued that in the future knowledge will be the primary resource and that land, labor, and capital become secondary. Since with specialized knowledge, organizations can easily obtain these resources. Has this future already come? So that was what Eugenia asked last year. And you on the forum uploaded this question the most so I want to be sure to address it. I think Eugenia does a nice start on this. And she kind of implies an answer by referencing Drucker and that knowledge and the knowledge economy of today has become more valuable than say in modernity and in industrialization periods where labor and physical resources might have been more important. So in some ways the times are such that maybe knowledge has this cachet. All right, let's take a step back though because it helps, I think, to think what we mean by a little bit by power. And power is usually defined as something that we use to get others to do things they would not do otherwise. And that's a little different than authority. Authority is something like people do things for us because they want to. And I think there's some kind of slippage here with resource dependence, getting people to depend on you overtly because you have physical resources or things that can be seen, renders this kind of a power game to some extent, right? That if you hold the means of production, you hold the physical means of production, resources, or you have land or whatever, that's easily observed, and it's hard to hide. Authority based on knowledge, knowledge is easier to kind of hide to some extent. And I'm not sure, I mean I always often wonder whether knowledge fits more subtle forms of control and dependencies that can arise. So it's something to think about. I don't have a clear answer of that, but it seems to perhaps fit a more open society pluralist world where we can use knowledge for various ends. And it can also be hidden perhaps and kept secret. So I don't know if it doesn't sound ethical at all to me to some extent. But nonetheless it's worth thinking about the implications of knowledge as a resource and how you can use it maybe differently than physical ones. Now a variety of you actually reinforced the view of knowledge that knowledge is more important, and I'm not the one to claim credit for this. Simrick Yaro had a nice of way of characterizing the importance of knowledge. But others of you thought more about the readings. And someone like Richard Boyce contended that we know which resources are more powerful or influential, really, if we want to use another term that's not laden with coercion or legitimacy notions, that if it's just influence. We have resource price, he mentions, which is really just supply, demand. So the more supply of a resource, the less value it becomes. The more it's in demand, the more valuable it becomes. The more rare in demand, it's like you have this baby, this precious thing everybody wants and that becomes very valuable. The other thing is that he mentioned that I didn't mention the luxury was productivity. And by this he meant that the first time you acquire a resource, the first instances of it, or the first usage of a technology, can actually have greater returns. And it adds more to the bottom line, than, say, future increments. So, the idea here that first moving on rare resources or valuable resources, the utilization of them can have greater value before that supply starts to take over. The other thing is that he mentioned, which was the degree of control over the resource, which I did mention in the lectures too. The more control you have over it, the more power influence you have. And then finally how much others rely on it or need it, not just one of demand or taste or want, but one of actual need becomes even more important to others. And the firms depend on it for survival. And so that increasing kind of need or want and need and the lack of supply of it becomes incredibly strong in terms of the survival of firms, if they don't have those resources. So controlling them in great regard has quite a bit of influence in this environment. Now, a lot of you went a little deeper in the knowledge though, seeing it as one of the types of resources besides physical, there's social, and then there's technical or knowledge, right? And they're increasingly [LAUGH] more obscure, right? It's social capital, or social kinds of relationships and networks aren't necessarily always visible. And same thing with knowledge, what is inside someone's head or even written down can be kind of harder to access for some people. So, it's interesting and someone like Haddie Talabzadi argued that knowledge can generate resources like land, labor, and capital. So it was a kind of a nice comment about the shaping that knowledge can have today which is really a reversal of Marx who used to argue that if you control the means of production and capital, that you can then generate culture and knowledge itself. The inverse seems to be holding in some cases. And the examples people give, like Deepak Tabal, is that in Silicon Valley, or at least within a knowledge economy of technology, a few individuals, their knowledge can far outweigh the masses in some regard in terms of influence. And that's very different from a time of when we had land, labor, and capital and modernity with the Industrial Revolution where many people were involved in kind of, those kinds of resources in their production and usage. So it's kind of interesting, to some extent, the different nature of knowledge, compared to other forms of resource. But, you know what, I don't think knowledge is a panacea. And I think quite a few of you also catch on to this, that, and someone like Marie Sinon and Bernard mentioned this, that it depends on the game and context that your firm is engaged in as to which type of resource really matters. There will be times when a physical resource for some industries or for some types of firms will be the most important thing, right? So for agriculture, you can imagine that knowledge may not always be a resource that's needed. Yes, it will be quite often. But there may be times when actual just the amount of grain you can acquire, or the amount of cheap labor and the like could be just as important in different cycles of the market. So that's feasibly there and different contexts where knowledge may matter more is kind of maybe in these developed nations, there's an accordance of making knowledge such a resource that people want. In those countries we have shelter, food, water. Most people are employed, and so knowledge, in some ways, might become kind of a luxury item for all we know. But I don't know if that's necessarily true, but it's something to think about. Someone else, like John Patterson made the nice observation that knowledge, maybe we're overemphasizing it, that what really matters is wisdom. And here what I thought was interesting was the reference to wisdom. It's not just enough to have a skill, or to know something or is strategically important that others don't, at the moment. That could be an understanding or knowledge, right. But wisdom is that a long-term kind of viewpoint, and it also suggests some degree of ethical comprehension. And the references to kind of how developing nations, their resources might be exploited by various short-term interests or knowledge or technologies without wisdom of the long-term impacts or what a long-term strategy might be is kind of insightful, I thought. I thought that was a good point. Others of you, I think, I want to make the point that DeMatrasku, I'm sorry you got down voted, I don't know how that happens. Don't take it personally. I thought you had a brave answer. I thought, and the people within that short subthread, that knowledge being overemphasized is problematic. That in many ways, capital kind of legitimates knowledge. So out here, the fact that you need bank or venture capital to kind of have a startup take off, or to have these companies with their new ideas to take hold, does require capital. I think that is a reality, and that is occurring around here. The other thing that I notice too is that access to knowledge's value is pretty fleeting and depends, right, it changes quickly. Particularly with online formats or with the knowledge economy that we have, where things are very open, they may have short-term value. Knowledge may have that kind of value. So it may not necessarily be a long-term, and I think, Ryan Spangler, you mentioned this. So how knowledge is used is what becomes more and more important. And the question for me becomes kind of, does knowledge have lasting value? Or the actual artifacts of knowledge, the actual skills, the actual practices, I mean, where is knowledge located? What kind of things do we import it with or transfer it with? It's in people. It's in products. It's in patents and laws that we try to encapsulate knowledge and trade it and use it as a resource. And so I think Ryan and others started catching onto this. And I think it's just worth mentioning that knowledge maybe isn't this panacea, nor it is a simple thing as just talking about it as a resource and stopping there that it may be short-term. It may be encoded in various people, products, and patents that are linked to capital, and are used like an artifact. And may have a short shelf life, for all we know, particularly in this day and age, but nonetheless can give you strategic advantage. And the kind of knowledge we're talking about isn't necessarily always short term. It can also be a long-term one. And that's where the references to wisdom I think begin to suggest potential understandings that we didn't have, as well as kind of thinking ethically about knowledge and its usage or any of these resources. That a short-term viewpoint on it may be quite advantageous to a firm in its survival, but it may not be an optimal outcome for firms in a larger context. Nor for the citizens that are users of these kinds of resources, or being provided services. So that's kind of intriguing. And I think all of you had very insightful comments on this thread. And I just wanted to thank you and to try to get through as many of those insights and reflect on them as best I can, so thanks.