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Driving innovations in manufacturing: Open Access research from DMEM

Strathprints makes available Open Access scholarly outputs by Strathclyde's Department of Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management (DMEM).

Centred on the vision of 'Delivering Total Engineering', DMEM is a centre for excellence in the processes, systems and technologies needed to support and enable engineering from concept to remanufacture. From user-centred design to sustainable design, from manufacturing operations to remanufacturing, from advanced materials research to systems engineering.

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Intangible flow theory

Cardao-Pito, Tiago (2011) Intangible flow theory. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 71 (2). pp. 328-353.

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Abstract

The intangible flow theory explains that flows of economic material elements (such as physical goods; or cash) are consummated by human related intangible flows (such as work flows; service flows; information flows; or communicational flows) that cannot be precisely appraised at an actual or approximate value, and have properties precluding them from being classified as assets or capitals. Therefore, although mathematical/quantitative research methodologies are very relevant for science, they are insufficient to study economy and society. Due to its prejudice against non mathematical/quantitative scientific reasoning, neo-classic economics could not be technologically prepared to reach the intangible flow dynamics of economic phenomena. Furthermore, the neo-classic solution to call people human assets or human capital, besides being ethically very questionable, offers performative non-scientific metaphors that intervene in the production of the reality they claim to represent; and sabotages the study of well delimited research questions by scientific approaches outside the realm of neoclassic economics.