IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Fast-Follower Industrial Dynamics: The Case of Taiwan's Emergent Solar Photovoltaic Industry

Listed author(s):
  • John Mathews
  • Mei-Chih Hu
  • Ching-Yan Wu
Registered author(s):

    The world is on the cusp of major transformations of energy systems, with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems providing one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels. Amongst the countries moving to take advantage of the new production possibilities thus being opened up is Taiwan, employing in this new sector its characteristic strategies of fast followership that it has perfected in earlier industrial shifts involving semiconductors, ICT products and flat panel displays. This paper provides an interim assessment of Taiwan's early entry strategies, involving a focus on mainstream crystalline silicon solar cells, as well as entry into emerging niche sectors such as thin-film second-generation cells and concentrated solar cells utilizing novel semiconductor materials. Taiwan firms' fast-follower strategies are highlighted and assessed in light of the literature on industrial dynamics and catch-up processes generally. The paper makes a contribution to theory in building nine propositions regarding fast followership, based on prior industrial experiences and this latest episode in the solar PV industry. Taiwan's strategies as a model for China are discussed, while the paper proposes Taiwan as an alternative to the “closed” and “open” models of photovoltaic diffusion identified for Japan and the USA.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Industry and Innovation.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 177-202

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:177-202
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2011.541104
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:177-202. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.