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Developing Innovative Competences in an Emerging Business System: New Private Enterprises in Hangzhou’s Software Industry

Mark Greeven and Zhao Xiaodong

ERIM Report Series Research in Management from Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Abstract: What kind of innovative competences are credibly developed by private entrepreneurs in China’s transition economy? On the basis of original empirical fieldwork in 45 software enterprises in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, we propose a working theory of innovative competence development in an emerging private sector. Combining resource-based and institutional perspectives we argue that Chinese private enterprises in Hangzhou were able to develop unique innovative competences to overcome resource constraints and manage technical - and market risks while respecting the location and sector-specific constraints. The findings suggest that private software enterprises in Hangzhou developed five innovative competences: organizational integration, financial commitment, external knowledge transformation, reputation development and strategic flexibility. The analysis further allows to propose three implications: 1) These five competences form a ‘configuration’ or coherent set of competences in this particular institutional setting; 2) Technological – and institutional regimes shape the potential range of innovative competences firms credibly develop depending on the available resources of the firm; 3) Innovative competences can be functional equivalents of institutions in the absence of well-developed, mature formal institutions.

Keywords: China; business system; competences; innovation; institutions; private entrepreneurs; software industry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L26 M M13 O31 O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-08-08
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