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

Listed author(s):
  • 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)

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 9 (2017)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 1-21

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:178-:d:88800
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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Kaplinsky, Raphael, 2011. "Schumacher meets Schumpeter: Appropriate technology below the radar," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 193-203, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Slavo Radosevic & Marat Myrzakhmet, 2006. "Between vision and reality: promoting innovation through technoparks in Kazakhstan," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 66, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:12:p:16362-16378:d:60411 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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, December.
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