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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the challenges facing diversified business groups in late-industrializing economies, as they acquire technology and learn to innovate. In particular, it assesses the role business groups play in technological innovation processes. This article thus attempts to identify the internal business strategies as well as external conditions that lead business groups to take a positive and developmental role in those economies. The main focus of this article is on technological innovation, rather than organizational or institutional innovation, although the latter often accompany the former. Also, as it deals with business groups in the late-industrializing economies of the twentieth century, the core activity is usually incremental “catch-up” innovation and technological acquisition, which involves significant technology transfer from developed and industrialized countries. This is to be contrasted with the R&D and new product-based “leadership innovation” of leading corporations operating in the most advanced economies.

Keywords: business groups, late-industrializing economies, technological innovation processes, internal business strategies, technological innovation

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