Title: Technological learning and firm-level technological capability building: analytical framework and evidence from Chinese manufacturing firms

Authors: Jing-Jiang Liu, Ji-Yu Qian, Jin Chen

Addresses: College of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China. ' City College, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan East Road, Hangzhou 310015, People's Republic of China. ' College of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Technological learning plays a crucial role in the development of a firm|s technological capability in late-industrialising countries. Based on the comprehensive case studies of five, large Chinese technology-based manufacturing firms, this paper explores three complementary, interdependent and dynamic patterns of firm-level technological capability building: (i) the import of technology, (ii) co-innovation, and (iii) in-house R&D. This paper seeks to further an analytical framework for linking technological learning strategy to patterns of technological capability building, and this paper also aims to present an in-depth case analysis to apply such framework. The framework consists of three core elements (i.e., gap analysis of technological capability, formulation of technological learning strategy and patterns of technological capability building) and four supporting elements (strategy, organisation, exogenous environment and firm|s performance). The results show that these patterns are complementary, interdependent, dynamic and co-evolving for firms in late-industrialising countries to build extensive technological capability, improve technological learning performance and rapidly respond to a hyper-competitive networked environment.

Keywords: technological learning; learning strategy; technological capability building; Chinese manufacturing; China; industrialising economies; innovation; networking; technology management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2006.009968

International Journal of Technology Management, 2006 Vol.36 No.1/2/3, pp.190 - 208

Published online: 06 Jun 2006 *

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