Title: Matching boundaries of GVCs to boundaries of technological platforms: explaining geographical dispersion of innovation in value chains in the case of South Korea

Authors: Giuliano Maielli; Soo Jung Oh; Martha Prevezer

Addresses: School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, London ' School of Global Business, Kyungil University, South Korea ' School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, London

Abstract: Digital platform-based ecosystems have reshaped innovation processes worldwide with an increasing degree of dispersion of innovative agents. This paper matches global value chain (GVC) boundaries to the boundaries of technological platforms to explain the location of R&D and innovation in the GVC. We apply this analysis to three industries of automotives, electronics and robotics, displaying differing technological platform types and boundaries in South Korea that has transitioned from low to middle to high income country through upgrading its technological capabilities in key GVCs. We learn that R&D and innovation dispersion in the GVC depends on how modularity is leveraged to open innovation and shape the boundaries of the technological platform. More open modularity in the ecosystem platform allows innovation and R&D to be dispersed globally, depending on where expertise is located. Whereas more closed modularity in supply chain platforms makes R&D proximity to headquarters in value chains crucial.

Keywords: global value chain; GVC; technological platform; innovation; South Korea.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2022.128927

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2022 Vol.14 No.4, pp.400 - 425

Received: 23 Feb 2022
Accepted: 13 Aug 2022

Published online: 10 Feb 2023 *

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