Title: From technological imitators to technological leaders: evidence from Huawei case study

Authors: Xuefeng Liu; Xiang Zheng

Addresses: School of Management, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, P.R. China ' School of Management, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, P.R. China

Abstract: This paper draws on the dimensions of Absorptive Capacity (ACAP) to elaborate how the technological imitators in the emerging economies successfully achieve technological catching-up. With the trend of globalisation, firms between different countries are now more closely connected with each other, but advanced firms still pay much attention to the intellectual property protection and avoid technological spillovers to local firms in emerging economies. In such environments, it is critical for local firms in emerging economies to enhance their own ACAP and absorb and apply external advanced technological knowledge. Moreover, in different stages of technological catching-up, the pattern of firms' innovation strategies should evolve accordingly and similarly, the different dimensions of ACAP are complementary and play different roles in different stages. Based on the Huawei case study, this paper suggests that local firms in emerging economies should stress different dimensions of ACAP and enhance them in different developmental stages during the process of transformation from technological imitators to technological leaders.

Keywords: absorptive capacity; catching-up; technological imitators; technological leaders; Huawei; emerging economies; advanced technology; innovation strategies; local firms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPM.2013.051005

International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2013 Vol.13 No.1, pp.1 - 14

Published online: 29 Sep 2014 *

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