Innovation in Developing and Transition Countries
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Innovation in Developing and Transition Countries

Edited by Alexandra Tsvetkova, Jana Schmutzler, Marcela Suarez and Alessandra Faggian

This edited volume offers a multidisciplinary perspective on innovation challenges and innovative practices in the context of developing and transition countries. The contributions mostly embrace a national innovation system approach in an attempt to understand innovation processes and their implications at both macro and micro levels.
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Chapter 11: The lost tiger in technological catch-up: lessons learned and implications for latecomer strategic typology

Xiao-Shan Yap and Rajah Rasiah


Evolutionary economists have strived to examine mechanisms behind rapid technological catch-up of some very backward countries in East Asia, such as South Korea and Taiwan. Malaysia remains an emerging economy in Southeast Asia, one that is struggling to grow through technological upgrading. Particularly in the semiconductor industry, the country has not been able to catch up with firms at the world’s technological frontier, despite its 40 years’ experience in the electronics and electrical industry. The purpose of this chapter is to examine latecomer technological learning processes and to draw implications for catch-up strategies. The chapter focuses on four Malaysian indigenous case studies, including two Malaysian wafer fabrication firms and two Malaysian semiconductor assembly and test firms, to identify managerial and institutional strategies in the technological catch-up process. The study subsequently compares the four indigenous cases to successful cases in Taiwan to map a typology of latecomer catch-up strategies.

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