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Combinative capabilities and organizational learning in latecomer firms: the case of the Korean semiconductor industry

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  • Mathews, John A.
  • Cho, Dong-Sung

Abstract

The emergence of firms from East Asian countries in advanced high-technology sectors such as semiconductors, is one of the striking features of world business developments over the course of the past decade. Explanations for the successes of such firms are commonly given in terms of transient, external or contingent factors, such as low costs or government subsides or just plain luck. In this paper an alternative account is given, based on resource leverage and organizational learning undertaken by the latecomer firms themselves. The paper develops a model of technological learning by latecomer firms, and then demonstrates its applicability in the case of the creation of a semiconductor industry in Korea. Data is presented to support the proposition that it is indeed single-loop and double-loop organizational learning that underpins these firms' successful entry strategies. This approach sheds light on the strategies to be followed by firms in advanced countries when they seek to enter knowledge-intensive, high-technology sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathews, John A. & Cho, Dong-Sung, 1999. "Combinative capabilities and organizational learning in latecomer firms: the case of the Korean semiconductor industry," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 139-156, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:34:y:1999:i:2:p:139-156
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    1. repec:spr:scient:v:95:y:2013:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-0962-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Griffith, David A. & Harmancioglu, Nukhet & Droge, Cornelia, 2009. "Governance decisions for the offshore outsourcing of new product development in technology intensive markets," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 217-224, July.
    3. Jing Yang & Frank Tipton & Jiatao Li, 2011. "A review of foreign business management in China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 627-659, September.
    4. Wang, Yuandi & Zhou, Zhao, 2013. "The dual role of local sites in assisting firms with developing technological capabilities: Evidence from China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 63-76.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:98:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1016-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Zhang, Marina Y. & Dodgson, Mark, 2007. ""A roasted duck can still fly away": A case study of technology, nationality, culture and the rapid and early internationalization of the firm," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 336-349, September.
    7. Christopher Williams & Ana Colovic & Jiqing Zhu, 2016. "Foreign Market Knowledge, Country Sales Breadth And Innovative Performance Of Emerging Economy Firms," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(06), pages 1-25, August.
    8. POPESCU Alina Irina, 2013. "Product Innovation Strategies on Emerging Markets: Bringing Theory and Practice Together," European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Bucharest Economic Academy, issue 02, June.
    9. Triulzi, G., 2014. "Technology life cycle and specialization patterns of latecomer countries: The case of the semiconductor industry," MERIT Working Papers 012, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    10. repec:kap:jincot:v:17:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10842-016-0237-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Eric H. Y. Koh & Mohan V. Avvari & Kim Hua Tan, 2016. "An integrated framework for competency development: perspectives of risk managers in banks," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 10(3), pages 581-602, September.
    12. Shin, Hojung & Lee, Jae-Nam & Kim, DaeSoo & Rhim, Hosun, 2015. "Strategic agility of Korean small and medium enterprises and its influence on operational and firm performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 181-196.
    13. Funk, Jeffrey L. & Magee, Christopher L., 2015. "Rapid improvements with no commercial production: How do the improvements occur?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 777-788.
    14. Dixit, M. R. & Sharma, Sunil & Karna, Amit, 2007. "Role of ‘corporate persistence’ and ‘environmental support’ in building breakthrough capability: Empirical investigation of Samsung’s initiatives in memory and microwave oven business," IIMA Working Papers WP2007-10-04, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    15. Rugman, Alan M. & Oh, Chang Hoon, 2008. "Korea's multinationals in a regional world," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-15, January.
    16. Lu, Jane W., 2003. "The evolving contributions in international strategic management research," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 193-213.
    17. repec:spr:scient:v:58:y:2003:i:1:d:10.1023_a:1025431608461 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Maria Isabella Leone & Keld Laursen, 2011. "Patent Exploitation Strategies and Value Creation," Chapters,in: The Economic Valuation of Patents, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Leo van Grunsven, 2006. "New Industries in Southeast Asia’s Late Industrialization: Evolution versus Creation - The Automation Industry in Penang (Malaysia) considered," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0611, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Dec 2006.

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