Journal Article

Dynamics of innovation in a globalizing china: regional environment, inter-firm relations and firm attributes

Cassandra C. Wang and George C. S. Lin

in Journal of Economic Geography

Volume 13, issue 3, pages 397-418
Published in print May 2013 | ISSN: 1468-2702
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 1468-2710 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbs019
Dynamics of innovation in a globalizing china: regional environment, inter-firm relations and firm attributes

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  • Technological Change; Research and Development
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Existing theoretical attempts to understand the dynamics of technological innovation have focused on the influence of regional environment and inter-firm relations. More recently, however, a number of studies have suggested that firm-specific attributes be taken as the key to innovation. This study examines the determinants of technological innovation in China’s ICT firms based on a large-scale questionnaire survey. We reveal that firm-level attributes are of great importance to innovation whereas the influences of region/relation-specific factors are modified by the types of innovation and by firms’ strategies and motivations. The role of regional and relational assets should not be over-emphasized at the expense of firm-level attributes. Research emphasis should be placed on the process of how firm attributes interacted with regional environment and inter-firm relations to shape innovation. The article concludes with a plea to bring ‘the firm’ back to the centre and adopt an interactionist approach to understanding technological innovation.

Keywords: Technological innovation; regional environment; inter-firm relations; firm attributes; China; R3; O11; O31; O32

Journal Article.  9369 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Technological Change; Research and Development ; Housing Markets, Production Analysis, and Business Location ; Economic Development

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