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Technological Change and Economic Catch-up

The Role of Science and Multinationals

Edited by Grazia D. Santangelo

This book tackles the issue of technological and economic catch-up by examining the role that public research institutions and local policy play in the promotion of this process by fostering local science–technology linkages with incoming foreign-owned multinationals. Although the book comprises various techno-socio-economic contexts and different methodological perspectives, the authors share the idea that public research, educational and political institutions provide capabilities in basic research and training of highly skilled labour, while private corporations establish networking connections with scientific and professional communities (and therefore access to knowledge and contacts) in other parts of the world.
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Chapter 7: Dynamic Capability, Innovation Networks and Foreign Firms: The Turkish Case

Aykut Lenger and Erol Taymaz


7. Dynamic capability, innovation networks and foreign firms: the Turkish case* Aykut Lenger and Erol Taymaz 1. INTRODUCTION The conventional understanding of technical change as a linear process relating to invention in science, introduction into the market and consequent diffusion has been replaced by a more complex one in the last couple of decades. When Mansfield proposed, in the early 1970s, that the innovation process is not simply the outcome of basic R&D expenditures, he was referring to the nonlinear character of the process itself, which is also responsive to feedbacks from production and marketing problems and needs as well as technological opportunities (Mansfield, 1994). More recently, a comprehensive effort to describe and understand technological change has led to the theoretical conceptualization of the process as a system. The idea in this perspective is that the innovation process is of a nonlinear character such that each stage of the process is deeply affected by the interaction of the institutions at work, which together constitute a system (Freeman, 1987, 1988, 2002; Lundvall, 1988, 1992; Nelson, 1988, 1993; Kim, 2000). This approach, the so-called national innovation system,1 is defined by Freeman (1987), who first introduced the concept into the theoretical discussion as the network of institutions, both public and private, which produce, import, adapt and diffuse new technologies by their activities and interactions. The main focus in this literature is the institutions, whether R&D laboratories, universities, administrative government bodies, financial intermediaries, or...

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