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

Towards An Institutions-Theoretic Framework Comparing Solar Photovoltaic Diffusion Patterns In Japan And The United States

Listed author(s):


    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong)


    (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Meguro-ku, Ookayama, Tokyo, Japan)

Registered author(s):

    This paper studies and compares the actual historic solar photovoltaic (PV) installation data in Japan and the United States and proposes two deployment models to account for the differences. Deployment, along with research, development and demonstration, constitutes what is known as the RD3 (PCAST — President's Council of Advances in Science and Technology, United States) innovative chain of a new technology. Japan deploys PV focusing on the niche of utility grid-tied small-scale system (90 per cent of which is standardised roof-top residential PV system) using highly integrated value chain; this seems to draw upon her strong manufacturing culture and associated social technology and institutions for suppliers-dominated innovations.The United States deploys PV as a broadly defined innovation emphasising user-oriented customisation in both on and off grid, residential and industrial applications using small independent and intermediary system integrators. Empirical analysis of the diffusion patterns in the grid-tied small system category in respective contexts suggests that Japan's institutions seem to match her mass deployment strategy while the United States' combination of fragmented industry structure and diversity deployment gives rise to a complex diffusion pattern calling for continual institutional innovation or co-evolution. Our research, therefore, highlights that commercialisation of new technology or technical change, in general, is not an autonomous process and has strong institutional underpinnings. We formalise and generalise this "match" (Perez, 1983) argument in accordance with Nelson and Sampat's (2001) framework of physical technology vs social technology and their interactions. Some potential future extensions regarding utilities for this model are then highlighted.

    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.

    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 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. in its journal International Journal of Innovation Management.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 04 ()
    Pages: 565-592

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:wsi:ijimxx:v:11:y:2007:i:04:p:565-592
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Email:

    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:wsi:ijimxx:v:11:y:2007:i:04:p:565-592. 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: (Tai Tone Lim)

    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.