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From low tech to modern industry: A study of traditional Chinese medicine sector in Guangdong, China

Tian Tian He (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau, China)
Hao Hu (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau, China)
Yi Tao Wang (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau, China)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Article publication date: 30 September 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper was to attempt to investigate the transformation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) industry in Guangdong Province of China by applying a perspective of sectoral system of innovation (SSI). TCM industry in China has experienced an evolution path from low-tech to modern industry.

Design/methodology/approach

An analytical framework of sectoral system innovation for explaining the change in TCM industry in Guangdong Province has been conducted.

Findings

It shows that during the successful transformation of the TCM industry in Guangdong from low-tech to modern sector, national and provincial institution are acting as main drivers. Knowledge integration is the decision factor of modernization and innovation strategy as an actor that makes the transformation adjust and operate efficiently. Other actors, such as demand and external networks interplay together and led to a gradual organizational, structural and institutional change and modernization of TCM industry.

Originality/value

SSI analyses of TCM in China have never been conducted before, this paper also contributes to enrich the experience of low-tech industry transformation and provide references to other low-tech industries around the world.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We would like to thanks for the funding support of University of Macau “(MYRG160(Y1-L2)-ICMS11-HH)”.

Citation

Tian He, T., Hu, H. and Tao Wang, Y. (2014), "From low tech to modern industry: A study of traditional Chinese medicine sector in Guangdong, China", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 247-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTPM-06-2014-0028

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited