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Indigenous Innovation and Economic Development: Lessons from China's Leap into the Information Age

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  • William Lazonick

Abstract

With a view to furthering our understanding of the process of indigenous innovation and its impact on economic development, this paper summarizes case studies of the evolution, from their origins to the late 1990s, of four of China's leading computer electronics companies: Stone, Legend, Great Wall, and Founder. The original case studies constitute the body of the late Qiwen Lu's important book, China's Leap into the Information Age: Innovation and Organization in the Computer Industry. A Chinese national, with a background in chemical engineering, Lu obtained his PhD in sociology from Harvard University in 1997 and was an INSEAD faculty member at the time of his death in August 1999, just 2 months after submitting his completed book manuscript to Oxford University Press. In this review essay, I present Lu's findings within a "social conditions of innovative enterprise" framework that stresses the importance of strategic control, organizational integration, and financial commitment in the innovation process. I conclude by considering the implications of this interpretation of these case studies for comprehending the dynamics of indigenous innovation and the debates on economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • William Lazonick, 2004. "Indigenous Innovation and Economic Development: Lessons from China's Leap into the Information Age," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 273-297.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:11:y:2004:i:4:p:273-297
    DOI: 10.1080/1366271042000289360
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    Cited by:

    1. Julius H. Johnson, Jr. & Dinesh A. Mirchandani & Seng-Su Tsang, 2008. "Competitive Dynamics, Global Industry Cycles, Integration-Responsiveness, and Financial Performance in Emerging and Industrialized Country Markets," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 7(1), pages 61-88, April.
    2. Marcus Conlé, 2011. "Tracing the Process of Property Rights Specification in China: The Case of New Technology Enterprises," Chapters,in: Institutional Variety in East Asia, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Jamee K. Moudud, 2010. "Strategic Competition, Dynamics, and the Role of the State," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 4241.
    4. Sharif, Naubahar & Huang, Can, 2012. "Innovation strategy, firm survival and relocation: The case of Hong Kong-owned manufacturing in Guangdong Province, China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 69-78.
    5. Chen, Kun & Kenney, Martin, 2007. "Universities/Research Institutes and Regional Innovation Systems: The Cases of Beijing and Shenzhen," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1056-1074, June.
    6. Yuandi Wang & Xin Pan & Lutao Ning & Jian Li & Jin Chen, 2015. "Technology exchange patterns in China: an analysis of regional data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 252-272, April.
    7. Françoise Hay & Christian Milelli, 2013. "The endless quest to strategic assets by Chinese firms through FDI:From Inward to Outward Flows," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-16, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    8. Keupp, Marcus Matthias & Friesike, Sascha & von Zedtwitz, Maximilian, 2012. "How do foreign firms patent in emerging economies with weak appropriability regimes? Archetypes and motives," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1422-1439.
    9. Olfa KAMMOUN & Mohieddine RAHMOUNI, 2013. "Intellectual Property Rights, Appropriation Instruments and Innovation Activities: Evidence from Tunisian Firms," Cahiers du GREThA 2013-01, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    10. repec:spr:scient:v:95:y:2013:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0802-x is not listed on IDEAS

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