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Unrelated diversification in latecomer contexts—The emergence of the Chinese solar photovoltaics industry

Binz, Christian LU and Anadon, Laura Diaz (2018) In Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 28. p.14-34
Abstract

New industries emerge in increasingly complex spatial patterns that challenge existing explanations of industrial path creation. In particular, the case of latecomer regions building up industries in fields that are unrelated to their previous industrial capabilities is not well understood in the literature. This paper aims to address this gap by expanding on an analytical framework that draws on innovation studies and catching-up literature to characterize unrelated diversification processes in latecomer contexts. A case study in the Chinese solar photovoltaics (PV) sector reveals an industry formation process that differs from traditional models of industry formation. The PV industry emerged from a highly internationalized... (More)

New industries emerge in increasingly complex spatial patterns that challenge existing explanations of industrial path creation. In particular, the case of latecomer regions building up industries in fields that are unrelated to their previous industrial capabilities is not well understood in the literature. This paper aims to address this gap by expanding on an analytical framework that draws on innovation studies and catching-up literature to characterize unrelated diversification processes in latecomer contexts. A case study in the Chinese solar photovoltaics (PV) sector reveals an industry formation process that differs from traditional models of industry formation. The PV industry emerged from a highly internationalized entrepreneurial project in which Chinese latecomer firms directly mobilized knowledge, markets, investment and technology legitimacy developing outside China and combined them with the country's generic capabilities in mass-manufacturing. In some industries, globalization thus enables a new model of industry formation that heavily draws on extra-regional system resources.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Catching-up, China, Cleantech, Innovation system, Path creation, Solar photovoltaics, Unrelated diversification
in
Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
volume
28
pages
14 - 34
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85045272002
ISSN
2210-4224
DOI
10.1016/j.eist.2018.03.005
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b9676d45-6645-4577-8660-f884efbe7cf5
date added to LUP
2018-04-23 15:47:54
date last changed
2019-04-23 04:31:49
@article{b9676d45-6645-4577-8660-f884efbe7cf5,
  abstract     = {<p>New industries emerge in increasingly complex spatial patterns that challenge existing explanations of industrial path creation. In particular, the case of latecomer regions building up industries in fields that are unrelated to their previous industrial capabilities is not well understood in the literature. This paper aims to address this gap by expanding on an analytical framework that draws on innovation studies and catching-up literature to characterize unrelated diversification processes in latecomer contexts. A case study in the Chinese solar photovoltaics (PV) sector reveals an industry formation process that differs from traditional models of industry formation. The PV industry emerged from a highly internationalized entrepreneurial project in which Chinese latecomer firms directly mobilized knowledge, markets, investment and technology legitimacy developing outside China and combined them with the country's generic capabilities in mass-manufacturing. In some industries, globalization thus enables a new model of industry formation that heavily draws on extra-regional system resources.</p>},
  author       = {Binz, Christian and Anadon, Laura Diaz},
  issn         = {2210-4224},
  keyword      = {Catching-up,China,Cleantech,Innovation system,Path creation,Solar photovoltaics,Unrelated diversification},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {14--34},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions},
  title        = {Unrelated diversification in latecomer contexts—The emergence of the Chinese solar photovoltaics industry},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eist.2018.03.005},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2018},
}