Evaluation of Technological and Innovation Capabilities in Iranian Plastics Companies: Obstacles to Catch-up

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Ph.D. Student of Technology Management, Science and Research branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Faculty Member, Faculty of management and Economics, Science and Research branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Faculty member, School of Management, Economics and Progress Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the newly industrialized countries have re-emphasized to pursue catching up strategy to attain industrialialization. In this strategy, the goal is promoting technological and innovative capabilities on the one hand, and improving competitive capabilities on the other. This study evaluates the technological and competitive capabilities of Iranian plastics companies to provide a clear picture of these companies and their obstacles to catch up. For this purpose, a questionnaire was completed to evaluate 55 companies in the top rankings based on 12 elements, followined by the semi-structured interviews. The analysis showed that strengths of Plastics companies are capabilities of process engineering, project execution, and linkage. However, their weaknesses is quite evident in complementary capabilities even pre-investment and learning capabilities. Afterward, those companies were classified into three groups of imitators, creative imitators and innovators by clustering method, investigating their distinctive characteristics.The paper concludes  the lack of adequate complementary capabilities stands out as a key obstacle in the process of catch up. 

Keywords

Main Subjects


-Abramovitz, M. (1986). Catching up, forging ahead, and falling behind. Journal of Economic History, 46(2), 385-406. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022050700046209
-Ahmadvand, E., Salami, S. R., Soofi, J. B., & Tabatabaeian, S. H. (2018a). Catch-up process in nanotechnology start-ups: The case of an Iranian electrospinning firm. [In Persian].Technology in Society, 55(C), pages 1-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2018.05.005
-Ahmadvand, E., Salami, S. R., & Soofi, J. B., & Tabatabaeian, S. H.,(2018b), Windows of opportunity for catch up in nanofibers technology in Iran from a sectoral systems of innovation perspective [In Persian]. Innovation Management, 7(3), 1-28. http://www.nowavari.ir/article_87695_en.html
-Arrow, K. (1962). The economic implications of  learning by doing. In Hahn F.H. (Ed.), Readings in the Theory of Growth (pp. 131-149). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-15430-2_11
-Amsden, A. (2003). Asia's next giant: South korea and late industrialization. Oxford Scholarship Online. https://doi.org/10.1093/0195076036.001.0001
-Amsden, A. (2009). Nationality of firm ownership in developing countries: Who should "crowd out" whom in imperfect markets? Oxford Scholarship Online.  https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235261.003.0015
-Chang, H. J. (2013). Comments on comparative advantage: The silver bullet of industrial policy. In J. E. Stiglitz & J. Y. Lin (Eds.), The industrial policy revolution (pp. 39-42). https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137335173_3
-Cimoli, M., Dosi, G., & Stiglitz, J. E. (2009). Industrial policy and development: The political economy of capabilities accumulation. Oxford Scholarship Online. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235261.001.0001
-Cimoli, M., Primi, A., & Rovira, S. (2011). National innovation surveys in Latin America: Empirical evidence and policy implications. In Economic commission for Latin America and the carabbean, National innovation surveys in Latin America: empirical evidence and policy implications [Project document, ECLAC, LC/W. 408] (pp. 4-17). United Nations.
-Dosi, G., Fagiolo, G., & Roventini, A. (2010). Schumpeter meeting Keynes: A policy-friendly model of endogenous growth and business cycles. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 34(9), 1748-1767. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jedc.2010.06.018
-Ernst, D., Ganiatsos, T., & Mytelka, L. (2003). Technological capabilities and export success in Asia. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203184226 
-Fagerberg, J., & Srholec, M. (2008). National Innovation systems, capabilities and economic development. Research Policy, 37, 1417-1435.  https://doi.org/10.1016/J.RESPOL.2008.06.003
-Fagerberg, J., & Srholec, M. (2015). Capabilities, Competitiveness, NationsPapers in Innovation Studies, Lund University,CIRCLE-Centre for Innovation Research. Conference ASIALICS, Daegu, Korea .https://swopec.hhs.se/lucirc/abs/lucirc2015_002.htm
-Figueiredo, P. N., & Piana, J. (2021). Technological learning strategies and technology upgrading intensity in the mining industry: Evidence from Brazil. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 46(3), 629-659 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-020-09810-9
-Guo, L., Zhang, M. Y., Dodgson, M., Gann, D., & Cai, H. (2019). Seizing windows of opportunity by using technology-building and market-seeking strategies in tandem: Huawei’s sustained catch-up in the global market. Asia Pacific journal of management, 36(3), 849-879. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-018-9580-1
-Hobday, M. (2003). Innovation in Asian industrialization: A Gerschenkronian perspective. Oxford Development Studies, 31(3), 293–314. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360081032000111715
-Hausmann, R., & Rodrik, D. (2006, September). Doomed to choose: Industrial policy as predicament. John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. https://drodrik.scholar.harvard.edu/files/dani-rodrik/files/doomed-to-choose.pdf
-Kim, L. (1997). Imitation to innovation: The dynamics of Korea's technological learning. Harvard business press.
-Kim, L. (1999). Building technological capability for industrialization: Analytical frameworks and Korea's experience. Industrial and corporate change, 8(1), 111-136. https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/8.1.111
-Kim, L., & Nelson, R. R. (2000). Technology, Learning and innovation: Experiences of newly industrialising economies. Cambridge University Press.
- Lawshe C. H. (1975). A quantitative approach to content validity. Personnhl Psychology, 28(4), 563-575. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1975.tb01393.x
-Lall, S. (1992). Technological capabilities and industrialization. World development, 20(2), 165-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750X(92)90097-F
-Lall, S. (2004). Reinventing industrial strategy: The role of government policy in building industrial competitiveness [Discussion Papers, No. 28]. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
-Lall, S., & Teubal, M. (1998). ‘Market-stimulating’ technology policies in developing countries: A framework with examples from East Asia. World development, 26(8), 1369-1385. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(98)00071-0
-Lee, K., & Lim, C. (2001). Technological regimes, catching-up and leapfrogging: findings from the Korean industries. Research policy, 30(3), 459-483. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0048-7333(00)00088-3
-Lee, K. (2009). How can Korea be a role model for catch-up development. A ‘capability-based view’ [Research Paper, No.209/34]. UNU-WIDER. https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/RP2009-34.pdf
-Lee, K. )2014). Schumpeterian analysis of economic catch-up: Knowledge, path-creation, and the middle-income trap. Cambridge University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107337244
-Lee, K., & Ki, J. H. (2016). Rise of latecomers and catch-up cycles in the world steel industry. Research Policy, 46(2), 365-375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2016.09.010
-Lee, K., & Malerba, F. (2017(. Catch-up cycles and changes in industrial leadership: Windows of opportunity and responses of firms and countries in the evolution of sectoral systems. Research Policy, 46(2), 338-351. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2016.09.006
Lin, J., & Chang, H. J. )2009(. Should industrial policy in developing countries conform to comparative advantage or defy it ? A debate between Justin Lin and Ha-Joon Chang, Development Policy Review, 27(5), 483-502. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7679.2009.00456.x
-Malerba, F. & Lee, K. (2021). An evolutionary perspective on economic catch-up by latecomers. Industrial and Corporate Change, 30(4), 986-1010. https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtab008
-Malerba, F., & Nelson, R. (2011). Learning and catching up in different sectoral systems: Evidence from six industries. Industrial and corporate change, 20(6), 1645-1675. https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtr062
-Maleki Karam Abad, M., Aghajani, H.,  Manteghi, M., & Abdi, B. )2020(. Technological catch-up conceptualization processing in the maritime defense sector [In Persian]. MILITARY MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY, 19(76), 69-102. https://doi.org/10.22034/iamu.2020.43078
-Mathews, J. A. )2002). Competitive advantages of the latecomer firm: A resource-based account of industrial catch-up strategies. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 19(4),  467–488.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1020586223665
-Mathews, J. A. )2006(. Catch-up strategies and the latecomer effect in industrial development. New Political Economy, 11(3), 313-335. https://doi.org/10.1080/13563460600840142
-Mathews, J. A. )2016(. Latecomer industrialization. In E. S. Reinert, J. Ghosh & R. Kattel (Eds.),  Handbook of alternative theories of economic development (pp. 613–636). Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781782544685.00040
-Minaee, M., Manteghi, M., Elahi, S., & Majidpour, M. )2020(. How industry’s characteristics affect the technological catch-up by a latecomer firm? Case study of an Iranian automobile firm [In Persian]. Journal of Science and Technology Policy, 13(3), 47-66. https://jstp.nrisp.ac.ir/article_13829.html
-Mirjalili, F., Mohammad Khani, M. R., & Tavakoli, A. )2007(. Some obstacles and problems in the development of downstream petrochemical industries and presenting solutions to solve them [Report No. 8727, In Persian]. Islamic Parliament Research Center of IRAN. https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/report/show/732216
-Mirjalili, F. )2017(. Challenges and strategies for production boom in 2017: Downstream petrochemical industries [Report No. 16499, In Persian]. Islamic Parliament Research Center of IRAN. https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/report/show/1153014
-Miao, Y., Salomon, R. M., & Song, J. )2020(. Learning from technologically successful peers: The convergence of Asian laggards to the technology frontier. Organization Science, 32(1), 210-232.  https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2020.1375
-Miao, Y., Song, J., Lee, K., & Jin, C. )2018(. Technological catch-up by East Asian Firms: Trends, Issues, and Future Research Agenda’, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 35(3), 639-669. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-018-9566-z
-Mu,Q., & Lee, K. )2005(. Knowledge diffusion, market segmentation and technological catch up: The case of the telecommunication industry in China. Research Policy, 34(6), 759-783. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2005.02.007
-Mytelka, L. )2005, February(. Science, technology and innovation policy review: The Islamic Republic of Iran. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/iteipc20057_en.pdf
-Narimani, M., & Hosseini, S. J. (2019). The theoretical foundations of science, technology and innovation policy from the view of economic schools [In Persian]. Journal of Science & Technology Policy, 12(2), 59-70. https://jstp.nrisp.ac.ir/article_13686.html
-Nelson, R. R. (2008). Economic development from the perspective of evolutionary economic theory. Oxford Development Studies, 36(1), 9-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/13600810701848037
-Nelson, R. R. )2018(. Modern evolution economics: An overview. Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108661928
-Nübler, I. )2014(. A theory of capabilities for productive transformation: Learning to catch up.  in J. M. Salazar-Xirinachs, I. Nübler & R. Kozul-Right, Transforming economies: Making industrial policy work for growth, jobs and development (pp. 129-411). ILO. https://www2019.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_242878.pdf#page=129
-Ocampo, J. A., Rada, C., & Taylor, L. (2009). Growth and policy in developing countries: A structuralist approach. Columbia University Press. http://cup.columbia.edu/book/growth-and-policy-in-developing-countries/9780231150149
-Ormanovic, S., Ciric, A., Talovic, M., Alic, H., Jeleskovic, E., & Causevic, D. (2017). Importance-performance analysis: different approaches. Acta Kinesiologica, 11, 58-66. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322790903
-Panda, H., & Ramanthan, K. )1996(. Technological capability assessment of a firm in the electricity sector. Technovation, 16(10), 561-588. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0166-4972(97)82896-9
-Park, K. H., & Lee K. (2006). Linking the technological regime to the technological catch-up: Analyzing Korea and Taiwan using the US patent data. Industrial and Corporate Chang, 15(4), 753-715. https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtl016
-Park, T. Y. (2013). How a latecomer succeeded in a complex product system industry: Three case studies in the Korean telecommunication systems. Industrial and corporate change, 22(2), 363-396. https:/doi.org/10.1093/icc/dts014
-Perez, C., & Soete, L. )1988(. Catching up in technology: Entry barriers and windows of opportunity. In G. Dosi (Ed.), Technical Change and Economic Theory (pp. 458-479). Pinter Publishers.
-Perez, C. (2003). Technological change and opportunities for development as a moving target. In J. Toye (Ed.), Trade and development: Directions for the 21st century (pp. 109-130). Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781843767473.00010
-Perez, C. (2008). A vision for Latin America: A resource-based strategy for technological dynamism and social inclusion [Working paper, No. 08-04]. Globelics. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.453.7918&rep=rep1&type=pdf
-Perez, C. (2015). The new context for industrializing around natural resources: an opportunity for Latin America (and other resource rich countries) [Working paoer No. 62]. Technology Governance and Economic Dynamics.. http://technologygovernance.eu/files/main/2015070612040808.pdf
-Rodrik, D. (2000). Institutions for high-quality growth: What they are and how to acquire them. Studies in comparative international development, 35(3), 3-31. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02699764  
-Rodrik, D. (2013). Unconditional convergence in manufacturing. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128(1), 165-204. https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjs047
-Rush, H., Bessant, J., & Hobday, M. (2007). Assessing the technological capabilities of firms: Developing a policy tool. R&D Management, 37(3), 221-236. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2007.00471.x
-Safdari Ranjbar, M., Rahmanseresht, H., Manteghi, M., & Ghazinoori, S. )2019(. Investigating the windows of technological learning opportunities with complex products and systems in latecomer countries: Gas turbine industry in Iran [In Persian]. Journal of Technology Development Management, 6(3), 9-40. https://dx.doi.org/10.22104/jtdm.2019.3085.2058
-Sobanke, V., Adegbite, S., Ilori, M., & Egbetokun, A. (2014). Determinants of technological capability of firms in a developing country. Procedia Engineering, 69, 991-1000. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2014.03.081
-Stiglitz J. E. (1996). Some lessons from the east Asian miracle. The World Bank Research Observer, 11)2(, 151–177. https://doi.org/10.1093/wbro/11.2.151
-Stiglitz, J. E., Lin, J. Y. (2013). The industrial policy revolution I: The role of government beyond ideology. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137335173
-Teece, D. )2007(. Explicating dynamic capabilities: The nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic Management, 28(13), 1319-1350. https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.640
-UNKTAD. )2017(. Trade and development report 2017 – Beyond austerity: Towards a global new deal. https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/tdr2017_en.pdf
-Wu, J. (2014). Industrial marketing management cooperation with competitors and product innovation: Moderating effects of technological capability and alliances with universities. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(2), 199-209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2013.11.002
-Zawislak, P. A., & Reichert, F. M. (2014). Technological capability and firm performance. Technology Management & Innovation, 9(4), 20-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242014000400002
 
Volume 9, Issue 2
(Special issue for technological catch-up)
September 2021
Pages 225-266
  • Receive Date: 19 December 2020
  • Revise Date: 03 July 2021
  • Accept Date: 15 August 2021
  • First Publish Date: 23 August 2021