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Brave old world: Accounting for 'high-tech' knowledge in 'low-tech' industries

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  • Mendona, Sandro

Abstract

'Lower-tech' sectors are still commonly regarded as unusual suspects in the modern process of innovation and economic change. In this paper we try to understand better how organisations specialising in traditional businesses have been transformed by a period of paradigm-shift such as the one that characterised the final decades of the twentieth century. We focus on a population of nearly 500 of the world's largest innovative companies to assess the extent to which companies belonging to 'old-economy' sectors have been developing cutting-edge knowledge about clusters of new technologies such as ICT, new materials and biotechnology. We find that 'non-high-tech' corporations transformed their patent portfolios in a non-trivial way. Companies in mature trades contributed significantly to the development of technologies that are at the core of the so-called Third Industrial Revolution.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 470-482

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:3:p:470-482

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

Related research

Keywords: Innovation Patents Technological diversification Traditional industries;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Borowiecki & Bernhard Dachs & Doris Hanzl-Weiss & Steffen Kinkel & Johannes Pöschl & Magdolna Sass & Thomas Christian Schmall & Robert Stehrer & Andrea Szalavetz, 2012. "Global Value Chains and the EU Industry," wiiw Research Reports 383, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  2. Iizuka, Michiko & Soete, Luc, 2011. "Catching up in the 21st century: Globalization, knowledge & capabilities in Latin America, a case for natural resource based activities," MERIT Working Papers 071, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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