The emergence of a succesful business network - What was the role of public policy

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To promote industrial development and economic growth is a vital issue for governments all over the world. The ideals guiding policymakers in their endeavours, strongly influenced by traditional economics and the innovation system approach, are that innovations based on new and advanced knowledge are central for industrial and economic development. As is exemplified through the quote below policymakers have no problem with finding inspiration from regions such as Silicon Valley.
The idea that so much could grow in so short time within such small geographical area sent planning bodies from Albuquerque to Zimbabwe scrambling to grow the next Silicon Valley on their own backyard. Sturgeon (2000: p.15)
But although the identified “generic” features have been copied, there are few examples of how ambitions to “artificially” create policy supported high-tech based business networks and industries have succeeded. One of the few successful examples of policy created high-tech industries often mentioned is the Taiwanese semiconductor industry. The story of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry is impressive as the one of Silicon Valley; in just a few decades a booming industry developed from scratch. One of the most common explanations to the transformation addresses the governing role of the state in coordinating industrial development and creating a successful semiconductor business network. Some of the major factors mentioned were for example the creation of public research institutes, the public provision of R&D, and the subsequent transfer of technologies to a downstream sector created by Taiwanese policy. This envisioned development scenario has been strongly supported in Taiwanese policy circles and forms a foundation of contemporary Taiwanese industrial development policy. However this model of business creation applied to other industrial areas has been widely criticized for not fulfilling it promises.
To investigate this issue, this paper takes a different and complementary view of the emergence of a Taiwanese semiconductor business network. Based on a resource interaction perspective the study aims to increase the understanding of forced network creations. The findings argue that the understanding that a network was created by policy is clearly an over-simplification which omits several important factors in the emergence of the semiconductor business network.
Sidor (från-till)131-159
TidskriftIMP Journal
StatusPublished - 2010

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