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Localised Low-tech Learning in the Furniture Industry

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  • Peter Maskell

Abstract

It is by now an established fact, that the so-called high technology industries have experienced growth rates way above average through most years. High technology industries share of the world manufacturers export has risen from 12 per cent in 1970 to 25 per cent in 1995. More than one-third of Japan's manufacturing export and more than 40 per cent of America's manufacturing export are products from high technology industries, and this development has increasingly led to an international obsession with high technology industries. In a number of countries R&D indicators have by now become the object of intense discussions. Great efforts are devoted to improve a bad relative standing. The aim of this paper is to questioned whether a national specialisation towards high technology industries is the only way by which the mature, developed countries can hope to sustain and augment their economic position. I claim that in contrast to much of the assumptions in contemporary politics and in the majority of the contemporary academic literature on the subject the countries without a specialisation in high technology industries are not left in the backwaters of economic development. Quite the contrary seems to be the case as many advanced, high-cost countries experience an above average economic performance even when specialising in the bottom end of the low-tech industries. The argument is illustrated with empirical material from the wooden furniture industry in general - and the rather successful Danish wooden furniture industry in particular. The possible reasons behind this apparent paradox are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Maskell, 1996. "Localised Low-tech Learning in the Furniture Industry," DRUID Working Papers 96-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:96-11
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    Cited by:

    1. Jukka Kaisla, 1998. "The Market Process and the Emergence of the Firm Some Indications of Entrepreneurship Under Genuine uncertainty," DRUID Working Papers 98-17, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    2. Keld Laursen & Valentina Meliciani, 2000. "The importance of technology-based intersectoral linkages for market share dynamics," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(4), pages 702-723, December.
    3. Gabriel Yoguel & Fabio Boscherini, 2000. "The environment in the development of firms' innovative capacities: Argentine industrial SMEs from different local systems," DRUID Working Papers 00-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    4. Ionara Costa, 2001. "Ownership and Technological Capabilities in Brazil," DRUID Working Papers 01-06, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    5. Dieter Ernst, 1999. "Responses to the Crisis Constraints to a Rapid Trade Adjustment in East Asia´s Electronics Industry," DRUID Working Papers 99-2, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Bengt-Åke Lundvall, 2002. "The University in the Learning Economy," DRUID Working Papers 02-06, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    7. Bengt-Åke Lundvall & Frank Skov Kristensen, 1997. "Organisational Change, Innovation and Human Resource Development as a Response to Increased Competition," DRUID Working Papers 97-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    8. Olivier Crevoisier & Ariane Muller, 1998. "Évolution économique de la filière bois. Une analyse par les milieux innovateurs," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 248(1), pages 29-37.
    9. Keld Laursen & Ammon Salter, 2005. "The fruits of intellectual production: economic and scientific specialisation among OECD countries," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 289-308, March.
    10. Nicolai J. Foss, 2001. "The Problem With Bounded Rationality On Behavioral Assumptions in the Theory of the Firm," DRUID Working Papers 01-15, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    11. Keld Laursen, 1998. "Do Export and Technological Specialisation Patterns Co-evolve in Terms of Convergence or Divergence? Evidence From 19 OECD Countries, 1971-1991," DRUID Working Papers 98-18, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    12. Adolfo Nemirovsky & Gabriel Yoguel, 2001. "Dynamics of High-Technology Firms in the Silicon Valley," DRUID Working Papers 01-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    13. Alice Lam, 2003. "Organisational Learning in Multinationals R&D networks of Japanese and U.S. MNEs in the U.K," DRUID Working Papers 03-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    14. John A. Mathews, 2001. "Competitive Interfirm Dynamics within an Industrial Market System," DRUID Working Papers 01-01, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    15. Nicolai J. Foss, 2001. "Economic Organization in the Knowledge Economy Some Austrian Insights," DRUID Working Papers 01-07, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    16. Björn Johnson & Olman Segura-Bonilla, 2001. "Innovation Systems and Developing Countries Experiences from the SUDESCA Project," DRUID Working Papers 01-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    17. Keld Laursen & Volker Mahnke & Per Vejrup-Hansen, 1999. "Firm Growth from a Knowledge Structure Perspective," DRUID Working Papers 99-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    18. Foss Kirsten & Foss Nicolai & Klein Peter G. & Klein Sandra K., 2002. "Heterogeneous Capital, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Organization," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-20, March.
    19. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss, 1999. "Organizing Economic Experiments The Role of Firms," DRUID Working Papers 99-5, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    20. Gabriel Yoguel & Marta Novick & Anabel Marin, 2000. "Production Networks Linkages, Innovation Processes and Social Management Technologies. A Methodological Approach Applied to the Volkswagen case in Argentina," DRUID Working Papers 00-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    21. Dieter Ernst, 1998. "Catching-Up, Crisis and Industrial Upgrading. Evolutionary Aspects of Technological Learning in Korea's Electronics Industry," DRUID Working Papers 98-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    22. Nicolaj J. Foss & Volker Mahnke, 2003. "Knowledge Management What Can Organizational Economics Contribute?," DRUID Working Papers 03-02, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    23. Nicolai J. Foss, 2001. "Selective Intervention and Internal HybridsInterpreting and Learning from the Rise and Decline of the Oticon Spaghetti Organization," DRUID Working Papers 01-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    24. Nicolai J. Foss, 2001. "Bounded Rationality in the Economics of Organization Present Use and (Some) Future Possibilities," DRUID Working Papers 01-13, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International competitiveness; industrial clusters; wooden furniture industry; level of technology;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L68 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Appliances; Furniture; Other Consumer Durables
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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