Entrepreneurs, Multinational Enterprises and Policy
Edited by Maureen McKelvey and Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen
Chapter 7: Manoeuvring global innovation spaces: an explorative case study of a Korean entrepreneurial venture in nanotechnology
This chapter analyses the development of innovation space for nanotechnology within Korea, by applying the framework developed in Chapter 6 about the relationship between entrepreneur and national innovation system. In recent decades, South Korea has earned a reputation as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world (Lee, 2013). Korean companies, such as LG, Samsung, Daewoo, Hyundai and Kia Motors, have established themselves as world-dominating conglomerates, highly successful in developing and introducing advanced technology solutions as well as exploiting their access to low-cost labour in the Asian regions. The success of such companies has been driven by a strategically prioritized industrial policy in Korea, which has enabled very dedicated and resourceful efforts in prioritized areas. While undoubtedly a highly successful approach, it has also had very particular effects on the national innovation system in Korea. Today, the top-ten largest Korean companies [chaebols] account for more than 80 per cent of Korean gross domestic profit (GDP), and this figure is growing.
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