The theory of flexible specialisation has been offering a challenging alternative to mass production system since its debut. Despite the attractiveness of the theory, practical applicability of the theoretical content has been weak. As time passes by, however, new momentum has been building up from the robotics and its related technology development, which can really open up the possibilities for flexible specialisation. Especially the advent of ageing society can be an impetus to change the industrial paradigm, due to labour shortage. This paper, noting the symptoms of change, has endeavoured with empirical data of Korea to see which industrial sectors are likely to start up this industrial change in the future.
Junmo Kim is a Professor at the Department of Public Administration, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea. Before joining the University, he has served as an Associate Research Fellow at the Science & Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) and Korea Institute of Public Administration (KIPA). His areas of interests include science, industrial & technology policy, regional development, wage analysis and policy evaluation. His major publications include The South Korean Economy (Ashgate, 2002) and ‘Economic integration of major industrialized areas’ (Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Vol. 67, Nos. 2–3, 2001).