Industrial governance structures, innovation strategies, and the case of Japan: sectoral or cross-national comparative analysis?
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.
Volume (Year): 45 (1991)
Issue (Month): 04 (September)
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