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Knowledge Generation and Innovation in Manufacturing Firms in China


  • Ludovico Alcorta
  • Mark Tomlinson
  • An Tong Liang


This paper explores and measures the knowledge generation process through identifying and examining the latent factor structure of the individual, managerial and cognitive dimensions of knowledge generation and investigating how these factors may relate to each other and to product innovation in the context of firms in China. We applied exploratory factor analysis and conducted a survey in Jiangsu province which is a main location of manufacturing activity and a large recipient of investment in science and technology in China. We found that individual and managerial factors included individual depth of knowledge, organizational commitment, academic orientation and managerial features, while cognitive factors involved developing a global and local knowledge base and engaging in imitative, embodied and/or minimalist learning strategies. The study also uncovered close associations between the depth of knowledge of individuals and their ability to develop a global knowledge base and between a minimalist learning strategy and the existence of a local knowledge base.

Suggested Citation

  • Ludovico Alcorta & Mark Tomlinson & An Tong Liang, 2009. "Knowledge Generation and Innovation in Manufacturing Firms in China," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4-5), pages 435-461.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:4-5:p:435-461
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710903064109

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kim, Linsu, 2000. "The Dynamics of Technological Learning in Industrialisation," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 7, United Nations University - INTECH.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Yuandi & Zhou, Zhao, 2013. "The dual role of local sites in assisting firms with developing technological capabilities: Evidence from China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 63-76.
    2. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:s:p:s50-s64 is not listed on IDEAS


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