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Limits to globalization: organizational homogeneity and diversity in the semiconductor industry

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  • Jonathan West

Abstract

This paper provides empirical evidence for the microeconomic existence of distinctive national modes of organization for technology development. Evidence from the semiconductor industry shows that two forms of organization not only arose as the industry expanded, but that the differences were maintained, or expanded, with neither side 'converging' on the other, even as manufacturing-process development performance converged. Four propositions are tested statistically: (1) the organizational strategies employed by a sample of leading firms in the United States and Japan were significantly different, across a range of dimensions important to manufacturing process development; (2) these modes of organization did not converge during the 1980s and 1990s, even as technology markets globalized, rather they grew increasingly different; (3) these modes of organization can meaningfully be described as nationally specific; (4) process development performance converged over time. The paper suggests an explanation for the observed divergent organizational paths by placing these strategies into institutional and cultural context. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan West, 2002. "Limits to globalization: organizational homogeneity and diversity in the semiconductor industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 159-188, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:11:y:2002:i:1:p:159-188
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1990. "Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)?," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 165-174.
    2. Nathan ROSENBERG, 2009. "Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Studies On Science And The Innovation Process Selected Works of Nathan Rosenberg, chapter 11, pages 225-234 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Duysters, Geert & Lemmens, Charmianne, 2008. "Alliance block composition patterns in the microelectronics industry," MERIT Working Papers 060, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Whitley, Richard, 2003. "Competition and pluralism in the public sciences: the impact of institutional frameworks on the organisation of academic science," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1015-1029.
    3. West, Jonathan & Iansiti, Marco, 2003. "Experience, experimentation, and the accumulation of knowledge: the evolution of R&D in the semiconductor industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 809-825.

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