What Innovation Policies Does China Need to Catch-up with the Most Advanced Countries in the World? Outlining a Research Agenda

Prof. Johann Peter Murmann , UNSW Australia Business School

A variety of positions have been advanced regarding what innovation policies China needs to catch-up with the most advanced countries in the world? The first position is outlined in the Chinese government’s 2006 “15- Year National Medium- and Long-Term Program for Science and Technology Development.” It laid 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. A second 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 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.

About the speaker
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 during the academic years 2011/12 and 2012/13. Before joining the AGSM - UNSW Australia Business School in January 2006, he was on the faculty of Northwestern University¹s Kellogg School of Management (from 1997 to 2005). One key focus in his research has been the development of the synthetic dye industry from 1850 to current times. Most recently he investigated how Chinese firms became leaders in the dye industry. His book 'Knowledge and Competitive Advantage: The Coevolution of Firms, Technology and National Institutions¹ received the 2004 Joseph Schumpeter Prize and 2004 Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award at the Kellogg School of Management. Professor Murmann received a BA in Philosophy with honors from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters and PhD degree with distinction in Management of Organizations (1998) from Columbia University. A more detailed list of his publications can be found here: http://jpm.li/1

Venue: Conference Room

Date: 11 September 2014

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT