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Providing Appropriate Technology for Emerging Markets: Case Study on China’s Solar Thermal Industry

Author

Listed:
  • Jianghua Zhou

    () (Business School, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)

  • Hao Jiao

    () (Business School, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)

  • Jizhen Li

    () (Research Center for Technological Innovation, School of Economics & Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China)

Abstract

Building on a case study of five Chinese solar thermal companies and one association, our study aims to understand how the innovator’s choices regarding the use of technology and organizational practices for new product development enable companies to design and diffuse appropriate technology in emerging markets. The study uncovers two critical factors that enhance the appropriateness of technology: redefining the identity of technology and building a local supply system. Our analysis shows that synergic innovation in both architecture and component leads to the appropriate functionalities desired by emerging markets. Moreover, modular design and the building of a local supply system enhance the process appropriateness of technology. Our study provides an empirical basis for advocating going beyond minor adaptations of existing products to creating appropriate technology for emerging markets, and extends our understandings of the upstream process of designing appropriate technology. Moreover, the emphasis on the local supply system reflects a holistic framework for shaping and delivering appropriate technology, expanding the existing research focus on the perspective of the technology itself. Our research also has managerial implications that may help firms tap into emerging markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Jianghua Zhou & Hao Jiao & Jizhen Li, 2017. "Providing Appropriate Technology for Emerging Markets: Case Study on China’s Solar Thermal Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-21, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:178-:d:88800
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mike Wright & Robert E. Hoskisson & Mike W. Peng, 2005. "Strategy Research in Emerging Economies: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 1-33, January.
    2. Tingting Li & Hualou Long & Shuangshuang Tu & Yanfei Wang, 2015. "Analysis of Income Inequality Based on Income Mobility for Poverty Alleviation in Rural China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(12), pages 1-17, December.
    3. Ted London & Stuart L Hart, 2004. "Reinventing strategies for emerging markets: beyond the transnational model," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 350-370, September.
    4. Kaplinsky, Raphael, 2011. "Schumacher meets Schumpeter: Appropriate technology below the radar," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 193-203, March.
    5. Kostka Genia & Zhou Jianghua, 2013. "Government-business alliances in state capitalist economies: evidence from low-income markets in China," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 245-274, August.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:12:p:16362-16378:d:60411 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Deepa Narayan & Robert Chambers & Meera K. Shah & Patti Petesch, 2000. "Voices of the Poor : Crying Out for Change," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13848.
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    9. Kostka, Genia & Zhou, Jianghua, 2013. "Government-business alliances in state capitalist economies: evidence from low-income markets in China," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 245-274, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    appropriate technology; technology identity; local supply system; emerging market; architectural innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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