Title: Innovation capability, network embeddedness and economic performance: profiling solar power innovators in China

Authors: Mahmood H. Shubbak

Addresses: Faculty of Business Studies and Economics, University of Bremen, Hochschulring 4, 28359 Bremen, Germany

Abstract: This paper discusses the technological upgrading of China in photovoltaics technology. It explores the patterns of innovation and network embeddedness and their impact on economic performance at the firm level. Identifying the main innovators over 1995-2014 with patent and market share indicators, the landscape of their activities is inspected through two hierarchical cluster analyses in parallel: first, against the quantity, quality and diversity of patents, and second, against global-integration, component-size and position in technological knowledge networks. The resulting clusters are cross-related to understand their interrelations with age, size, turnover and productivity of actors. The multivariate analysis of variance shows a significant relationship between innovation-network concurrency and the age, turnover and productivity. Global-integration in small-world networks is significantly related with economic performance. Quality of innovation shows higher importance than quantity and diversity. While specialisation in high-tech fields has positive impact on turnover, production-oriented firms with low-tech focus have higher productivity.

Keywords: solar photovoltaics; China; patent profiles; network embeddedness patterns; innovation system; cluster analysis; concurrency matrix; economic performance; productivity; technological upgrading; MANOVA; emerging economy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2018.093723

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2018 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.258 - 294

Received: 30 Sep 2017
Accepted: 02 Apr 2018

Published online: 01 Aug 2018 *

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