Joint UNU-MERIT/School of Governance Seminar: “What Innovation Policies Does China Need to Catch-up with the Most Advanced Countries in the World? Outlining a Research Agenda”
A variety of positions have been advanced regarding what innovation policies China needs to catch-up with the most advanced countries in the world.
One position is outlined in the Chinese government’s 2006 “15-Year National Medium- and Long-Term Program for Science and Technology Development”, which lays out an ambitious plan to catch up in science and technology and create home-grown cutting edge innovations. The key idea here is that by being a leader in science and technology — focusing resources on frontier technologies — China will create a more innovative economy with higher potential for economic growth.
Another position — prominently articulated by Breznitz & Murphree (2011) — argues that China will achieve higher economic growth not by attempting to be the source of first-generating new technologies, but by continuing to imitate these technologies, making innovations in the 2nd generation and rapidly diffusing them across the economy. The key arguments here are that, irrespective of the intentions of the central government, China’s institutional environment does not provide the incentives for Chinese firms to invest in first-generation technologies, but that the global division of labor allows Chinese firms to dominate parts of the supply chain.
Johann Peter Murmann is Associate Professor of Management at the AGSM – UNSW Australia Business School. He was Visiting Associate Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 2011/12 and 2012/13. Before joining the AGSM – UNSW Australia Business School in 2006, he was on the faculty of Northwestern University¹s Kellogg School of Management (from 1997 to 2005). Professor Murmann holds a a masters and PhD degree with distinction in management of organizations from Columbia University.
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