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

Document Type : Research Paper


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.


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. 


Main Subjects

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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