Kim and Tunzelmann - Electronic Working Papers Series Paper...

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Aligning internal and external networks: Taiwan’s specialization in IT Seok-Ran Kim and Nick von Tunzelmann Electronic Working Papers Series Paper No 17 Science Policy Research Unit Mantell Building University of Sussex Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RF, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1273 686758 Fax: +44 (0) 1273 685865 Email: M.E.Winder@sussex.ac.uk http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/
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2 Aligning internal and external networks: Taiwan’s specialization in IT Seok-Ran Kim and Nick von Tunzelmann SPRU, University of Sussex January 1998 Submitted to World Development Professor Nick von Tunzelmann SPRU, University of Sussex Mantell Building, Falmer BRIGHTON BN1 9RF Tel: +44 1273 678169 Fax: +44 1273 685865 e-mail: g.n.von-tunzelmann@sussex.ac.uk
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This research has been supported by grant of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Pacific Asia Research Programme (project reference: L32453023; Technological Dynamism in Pacific Asia: Implications for Europe). The authors acknowledge the assistance of many Taiwanese experts, companies and governmental and non-governmental organizations who were interviewed and provided information useful during fieldwork in Taiwan (May 1997). In particular, we are most grateful to Professor Se-Hwa Wu, Professor Jordan Wen, and their students at the host institution, The Graduate Institute of Technology and Innovation Management (TIM), National Chengchi University, Taipei.
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Summary This paper combines the approaches of political governance scholars and the national systems of innovation perspectives, to reassess the emergence of Taiwan’s successful IT hardware industry. Reductionist views of seeing this as the result of either the pull of free market forces or the push of the state are rejected. The alternative of emphasising the role of governance through networks is accepted, but we stress the multiplicity of networks: global, national and local. The key to success is then seen as the stronger alignment among these various networks. Markets, firms and the state all played their part in this intensified alignment. The role of the state, which was particularly important in linking demand networks to supply ones, is seen as operating through indirect rather than direct links to firms and markets, and especially by encouraging human capital formation and spin-offs of people. In theoretical terms, we conclude there is an need to link political and evolutionary approaches.
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5 1 INTRODUCTION Our objective in this paper is to help explain the particularly successful performance of Taiwan in segments of the information technology (IT) industry. We present the successful specialization in IT by Taiwanese firms as the effective coupling and close alignment between the evolution of their national system, with its distinct network features and local network dimensions, and the global IT production networks of leading foreign computer firms. We thus perceive the basic ingredient in Taiwan’s success in this area not just as a question of developing networks but of integrating locally and
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2010 for the course ECON 4450 taught by Professor Wan during the Spring '09 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Kim and Tunzelmann - Electronic Working Papers Series Paper...

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