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Industrial governance structures, innovation strategies, and the case of Japan: sectoral or cross-national comparative analysis?


  • Kitschelt, Herbert


In comparative research on industrial policy strategies, attention has shifted from national-level variables to sectoral variables in both the description and the explanation of policy. The sectoral literature, however, lacks analytic focus and has provided little systematic insight into the causes of cross-sectoral variance in governance structures and policy strategies. Based on recent contributions to the economics and sociology of formal organizations, this article attempts to sharpen the concept of “industrial sector” and to provide a rationale for why sectoral structures and strategies vary. Next, it develops a synthetic explanatory framework that combines sectoral analysis and national domestic structuralism in order to account for industrial innovation strategies in advanced capitalist countries. In the final section, the fruitfulness of this approach is illustrated by developing a new account of Japan's success and failure in industrial innovation, an account that overcomes the contradictions among the main alternatives offered in the past. The key objective of the article, however, is to develop a new set of theoretical hypotheses for cross-national research, not a rigorous empirical test of its main propositions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kitschelt, Herbert, 1991. "Industrial governance structures, innovation strategies, and the case of Japan: sectoral or cross-national comparative analysis?," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 453-493, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:45:y:1991:i:04:p:453-493_03

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    Cited by:

    1. Gerhard Fuchs, 2000. "The Role of Geography in the Information Economy: The Case of Multimedia," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 69(4), pages 559-573.
    2. Dolata, Ulrich, 2017. "Technological innovations and the transformation of economic sectors: A concise overview of issues and concepts," Research Contributions to Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies, SOI Discussion Papers 2018-01, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Social Sciences, Department of Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies.
    3. Kenji Kushida, 2011. "Leading without Followers: How Politics and Market Dynamics Trapped Innovations in Japan’s Domestic “Galapagos” Telecommunications Sector," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 279-307, September.
    4. Kwon, Seokbeom & Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2017. "How institutional arrangements in the National Innovation System affect industrial competitiveness: A study of Japan and the U.S. with multiagent simulation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 221-235.
    5. Jeremy Howells & Jonathan Michie, 1998. "Technological Competitiveness in an International Arena," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 279-293.
    6. Whitley, Richard, 2003. "Competition and pluralism in the public sciences: the impact of institutional frameworks on the organisation of academic science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1015-1029, June.
    7. Gedeon, Péter, 1997. "Az átalakulás gazdaságtana és a gazdaságtan átalakulása. A gazdasági rendszerek összehasonlító elméletétől a komparatív politikai gazdaságtanig
      [The economics of transition and the transition of ec
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 56-68.
    8. Steven Casper & Sigurt Vitols, 1997. "The German Model in the 1990s: Problems and prospects," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1-13.
    9. Steven Casper & Richard Whitley, 2002. "Managing competences in entrepreneurial technology firms: a comparative institutional analysis of Germany, Sweden and the UK," Working Papers wp230, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    10. KWON Seokbeom & MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki, 2015. "How Institutional Arrangements in the National Innovation System Affect Industrial Competitiveness: A study of Japan and the United States with multiagent simulation," Discussion papers 15065, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. Deeg, Richard, 1996. "German banks and industrial finance in the 1990s," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 96-323, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    12. Alexander Kleibrink & Björn Niehaves & Pau Palop & Jens Sörvik & Basanta Thapa, 2015. "Regional ICT Innovation in the European Union: Prioritization and Performance (2008–2012)," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(2), pages 320-333, June.
    13. Dolata, Ulrich, 2009. "Technological innovations and sectoral change: Transformative capacity, adaptability, patterns of change: An analytical framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1066-1076, July.
    14. Beckert, Jens & Ebbinghaus, Bernhard & Hassel, Anke & Manow, Philip (ed.), 2006. "Transformationen des Kapitalismus: Festschrift für Wolfgang Streeck zum sechzigsten Geburtstag," Schriften aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, volume 57, number 57.
    15. Fuchs, Gerhard, 2000. "Regional And Global Linkages In The Development Of New Industries," ERSA conference papers ersa00p48, European Regional Science Association.
    16. Alice Lam, 2003. "Organizational Learning in Multinationals: R&D Networks of Japanese and US MNEs in the UK," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 673-703, May.
    17. Casper, Steven & Whitley, Richard, 2004. "Managing competences in entrepreneurial technology firms: a comparative institutional analysis of Germany, Sweden and the UK," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 89-106, January.

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