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Ambidextrous and disruptive innovation in the context of NICs: how latecomers strive to become the leaders

Kim, Jung Bum; (2018) Ambidextrous and disruptive innovation in the context of NICs: how latecomers strive to become the leaders. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Innovation in the context of NICs were vigously researched in the late 1990s with the interest in how few successful latecomer countries had achieved rapid economic growth during that period. The most well-established model in catching-up innovation is the three stage linear innovation process model by Kim (1997), known as ‘acquisition – assmiliation – improvement’. Another important research were carried out by Hobday (2005) and Hobday, Bessant and Rush (2004) to translate the successful cases of latecomers in NICs into technological innovation research. Although these research have provided a powerful theoretical framework, it has been 20 years since the models were introduced. The dynamic business and technological environment and more competitive global market conditions call into question its applicapability to the modern world. This research gap calls for a new analysis of NIC innovation models with a new perspective that recognises and enhances the dimension of dynamic capabilities and disruption employed in the process of catching up with innovation. This thesis presents the research results drawn from three case studies in the semi-conductor (IT), automotive steel and construction industries in Korea. It shows that latecomers develop the dynamic capability of transforming their structure to an ambidextrous organisation to cope with both radical and incremental innovations and deal with the rapidly changing dynamic business environment. By using the research data taken from the case studies, this thesis proposes a newly developed model, ‘transformational innovation capabilities', which considers that latecomers progress beyond catching-up with innovation by following four phases: capability building, disruptive catching up, transitional and leading phases. After following these phases, they develop ‘transformational innovation capabilities’ which determine the form of ambidexterity, a firm's disruption strategy and exploitation of dynamic capabilities under the given contingency. The transformational innovation capabilities allow latecomers to strive to become the technological leaders. The thesis contributes to the NIC literature, dynamic capability and disruptive innovation by emphasising the growth, evolution and revolution of catching-up firms. The findings provide a number of insights into how catching-up firms can be managed in order to reduce the technological gap and set an R&D and organisational strategy that competes against incumbents.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Ambidextrous and disruptive innovation in the context of NICs: how latecomers strive to become the leaders
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
Keywords: Technological innovation, Dynamic capabilities, Disruptive innovation, latecomer's catching up innovation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059786
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