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Technological catching-up and latecomer strategy : A case study of the Asian shipbuilding industry

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  • Technological catching-up and latecomer strategy
  • Sohn, Eunhee; Chang, Sung Yong; Song, Jeayong
  • Seoul National University


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Title Technological catching-up and latecomer strategy
Similar Titles
Sub Title

A case study of the Asian shipbuilding industry

Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Sohn, Eunhee; Chang, Sung Yong; Song, Jeayong

Publisher

[Seoul, S.Korea]:Seoul National University

Date 2009
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Seoul Journal of Business:vol. 15(no. 2)
Pages 34
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Industry and Technology < Others
Territorial Development < Transport/Logistics
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of imitation and innovation in technological catching-up. On the one hand, excessive innovation and no imitation can never provide latecomers with absorptive capacity to embark on catching-up along the existing technological trajectory. On the other hand, excessive imitation and no innovation can debilitate the ability of latecomer firms to leapfrog incumbents by creating a new trajectory and further reducing the technological gap. Thus, we argue that successful technological catching-up in the long term can hardly be achieved without a fine balance between imitation and innovation at the early stage of catching-up. We also propose that occurrence of technological uncertainty at the later stage of catching-up allows latecomers with such balance to realize radical technological leapfrogging. By conducting a case study on the shipbuilding industry in the 20th century, we find supporting evidence that validates our argument.