Keywords: innovation, knowledge diffusion, global production networks, multinational corporations, innovation strategy, technology diversification: Asia, electronics industry, electronic design, exports, innovation policy
Pathways to innovation in Asia's leading electronics-exporting countries – a framework for exploring drivers and policy implications
This paper offers a framework for exploring emerging pathways to innovation in Asian electronics industries, as well as their drivers and policy implications. The focus is on 'stylised facts' rather than on the diversity of specific country trajectories. I demonstrate that the role of Asia's leading players in the electronics industry is changing – from global export production bases for hardware and software, a transition is under way to the creation of commercially viable innovations and standards. I argue that transformations in global markets, production and innovation systems are providing new opportunities for Asian firms that seek to improve their innovative capabilities. To exploit these opportunities, however, important changes are required in Asia's innovation strategies, policies and management approaches. I highlight the considerable potential of 'technology diversification' strategies as an intermediate option for attempts to move beyond 'fast-follower' strategies.