November 19, 2013 | Contribution by
Kenneth Kraemer is a Research Professor at the Paul Merage School of Business, UC Irvine
As developing countries weigh how to enter the high stakes R&D arena, a big question is how to boost the chances of benefiting from successful innovation. Kenneth Kraemer – Research Professor in the Paul Merage School of Business and Co-Director of the Personal Computing Industry Center, UC Irvine – tells the JKP that a country cannot expect to benefit in areas where it lacks firms with experience and capabilities, and markets. Thus, the best route is to invest in R&D recognizing that the probability of success is small, monitor global developments in fields where domestic firms are strong, and increase domestic capability to learn from advances elsewhere. So cutting edge or imitate? At this point, he says, most developing countries – other than China – don’t have the capacity to dive into cutting edge research. Rather, they should focus on being fast imitators, maneuvering to become a player in what’s now a global supply chain.
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