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Technological Catching-up and Latecomer Strategy: A Case Study of the Asian Shipbuilding Industry

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Authors
Sohn, Eunhee; Chang, Sung Yong; Song, Jeayong
Issue Date
2009
Publisher
College of Business Administration (경영대학)
Citation
Seoul Journal of Business, Vol.15(2): 25~57(2009)
Keywords
Technological catching-uplatecomer strategyimitationlearning myopiatechnology regimeshipbuilding industry
Abstract
This paper investigates the role of imitation and innovation in technological catching-up. On the one hand, excessive innovation and no imitation can never provide latecomers with absorptive capacity to embark on catching-up along the existing technological trajectory. On the other hand, excessive imitation and no innovation can debilitate the ability of latecomer firms to leapfrog incumbents by creating a new trajectory and further reducing the technological gap. Thus, we argue that successful technological catching-up in the long term can hardly be achieved without a fine balance between imitation and innovation at the early stage of catching-up. We also propose that occurrence of technological uncertainty at the later stage of catching-up allows latecomers with such balance to realize radical technological leapfrogging. By conducting a case study on the shipbuilding industry in the 20th century, we find supporting evidence that validates our argument.
ISSN
1226-9816
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/32220
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College of Business Administration/Business School (경영대학/대학원)Dept. of Business Administration (경영학과)Seoul Journal of BusinessSeoul Journal of Business Volume 15, Number 1/2 (2009)
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