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Developing the complex system in Korea: the case study of TDX and CDMA telecom system


  • Jae-Yong Choung
  • Hye-Ran Hwang


This paper describes and analyses the successful development and commercialisation of Korean TDX telephone switching technologies and CDMA wireless systems, which were initiated as a national R&D project. We introduce the concept of Complex Product System (CoPS) to identify and describe (a) factors for the successful development of CoPS, such as TDX and CDMA, in Korea, (b) features specific to the development of CoPS in Newly Industrialised Economies (NIE) and finally (c) how the characteristics of Korean innovation system interact with the innovation system of telecommunication systems. We suggest that (1) the capabilities for integration of such agents as, public research institute, manufacturers and users play an important role in achieving successful commercialisation, (2) the development of CDMA systems was made possible by technological path dependency. Finally, we discuss the implications for NIEs that are involved in developing CoPS, pointing out the importance of project planning and managerial capability, coevolution of institutions and technology, as well as the interaction between large-scale and local R&D.

Suggested Citation

  • Jae-Yong Choung & Hye-Ran Hwang, 2007. "Developing the complex system in Korea: the case study of TDX and CDMA telecom system," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(2), pages 204-225.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijtlid:v:1:y:2007:i:2:p:204-225

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo & Ronde, Thomas, 2001. "Foreign direct investment and spillovers through workers' mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 205-222, February.
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    6. Peri, Giovanni & Urban, Dieter, 2006. "Catching-up to foreign technology? Evidence on the "Veblen-Gerschenkron" effect of foreign investments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-98, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Joosung J. & Yoon, Hyungseok, 2015. "A comparative study of technological learning and organizational capability development in complex products systems: Distinctive paths of three latecomers in military aircraft industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1296-1313.


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