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A study of the evolutionary path of technological innovation modes in the equipment manufacturing industry of China

Yuan Yi‐jun (Department of Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)
Lv Cui‐jie (Department of Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)

Journal of Technology Management in China

ISSN: 1746-8779

Article publication date: 27 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The equipment manufacturing industry, as a strategic industry of China, is experiencing a transition from imitative innovation to independent innovation. The achievements of independent innovation have not been as good as could have been expected. Based on evolutionary economics, the purpose of this paper is to explore the evolutionary path of the two innovation modes, respectively, and analyze the internal and external factors that hinder the mutation from imitative innovation routine to independent innovation routine. According to the results of the evolutionary game model, several policy suggestions are proposed to promote the transition from imitative innovation to independent innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the concepts of evolutionary economics. Routine, mutation, path dependence and selection are included in the analysis of the evolutionary path of the two innovation modes. Especially, the evolutionary game model of innovation modes selection is established to explain how internal and external conditions work in the transition.

Findings

The paper explores the evolutionary path of the transition from imitative innovation to independent innovation in the equipment manufacturing industry of China, and analyses the obstacles and factors (internal path dependence, and the lack of benefit incentive and external mutation conditions such as fiscal support and intellectual property protection) that hinder the mutation from imitative innovation routine to independent innovation routine. The results of the evolutionary game model show that the pursuit of the benefit (innovation return or the profit), as an internal mutation condition, is the most fundamental motivation for independent innovation, while policy incentives, as the external mutation conditions, have a significant impact on the evolutionary transition. According to the results, several policy suggestions are proposed to promote the transition from imitative innovation to independent innovation.

Originality/value

Taking the equipment manufacturing industry as a particular object, this paper tries to explain the evolutionary path and the obstacle factors of the transition from imitative innovation to independent innovation from the perspective of evolutionary economics, involving routine, mutation, path dependence, selection, and so on. The evolutionary game model of innovation modes selection is established to investigate the influence of these factors.

Keywords

Citation

Yi‐jun, Y. and Cui‐jie, L. (2011), "A study of the evolutionary path of technological innovation modes in the equipment manufacturing industry of China", Journal of Technology Management in China, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 257-266. https://doi.org/10.1108/17468771111157463

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited