However, with a general election imminent in 1997, HTSF policy enjoyed a cyclical recovery of interest of the type noted above.
Before discussion of HTSF functions in the light of the above reports, a definition of the HTSF is useful.
The majority of HTSF firm founders are `technical entrepreneurs'.
In this context, the `empty hive' concept, recently advocated by the CBI (CBI, 1997), in which it is argued that professional managers should help develop new HTSF technologies, is a dubious concept.
Indeed, an inability to understand or measure technical assets often causes nervousness among some managers (especially accountants), which frequently leads them to under-value technology, while over-valuing physical assets not directly relevant to the HTSF innovation process (Deakins and Philpot, 1994).
Most HTSF technical entrepreneurs need general management training, both during firm formation, when coherent business planning is vital, and during subsequent growth.
Whether this shift in the papers reflects a change in policy and practice, or in HTSF theory, or a shift in Oakey's editorial selection of papers for publication (or all four) is unclear.
Oakey is probably right to envisage that his series of collected papers will trace out the `evolving HTSF research agenda'.
For example, there is nothing on the experience of HTSFs in `organised' Pacific-Rim political-economies (Japan, Korea, Singapore, possibly Taiwan) nor on South and East Asian HTSFs under `disorganised capitalism' (China, Pakistan, India).
It is clear how only a small proportion of these firms deserve the description `High Technology' and from this it can be inferred that the proportion of HTSFs which really `compete globally and survive in the face of intense international competition', is very small indeed.