Tiger Technology: The Creation of A Semiconductor Industry in East Asia

By Saker, Neil | Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, December 2001 | Go to article overview

Tiger Technology: The Creation of A Semiconductor Industry in East Asia


Saker, Neil, Journal of Southeast Asian Economies


Tiger Technology: The Creation of A Semiconductor Industry in East Asia. By John A. Mathews And Dong-Sung Cho. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Pp. 389.

This is an important book looking in detail at an important aspect of the East Asian economies -- the semiconductor industry. The development of this sector, together with the wider electronics industry of which it is a crucial part, has been at the leading edge of the region's rapid industrialization along with the car, steel, textiles, and petrochemical industries. The book takes the semiconductor sector as a prime example for understanding the dynamics behind this rapid industrialization and describes why parts of East Asia (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and, to some extent, Malaysia) have managed to come close to the world cutting edge in such complex technologies. The book follows in the tradition of Hobday (1995) and Borrus et al. (2000) with a detailed discussion of country experiences and applies a thorough review of the literature regarding technology diffusion and organizational theory to the specifics of the East Asian semiconductor industry. In this way the authors examine the wider implications including prospects of replication in both other developing economies and also in the United States and European Union (EU). This book is an important contribution to our understanding of why the region developed so fast and will be useful for a variety of readers from macroeconomists to industry specific specialists and policy-makers around the world.

The key dynamic stressed is the creation of institutional capabilities to leverage existing technology from more advanced countries as opposed to traditional product invention and discovery. They rigorously explain that this was not a spontaneous development. Rather, it was the result of a concerted effort by the development-- orientated state to build the required institutional frameworks. In the context of technological underdevelopment, and with the disadvantages of being latecomers, the governments were instrumental in creating the mechanisms by which technology could be first introduced, then adapted to local requirements and finally mastered. Japan was the first and was perhaps sui generis with its strategy of full infant industry protection and a heavily mercantilist view. In the contemporary globalizing world with WTO (World Trade Organization)/IMF (International Monetary Fund) type policy agendas, the potential for broad replication focuses more on examining the strategies of Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore. Broadly similar approaches to technology diffusion were taken albeit with differing focuses reflecting differing characteriztics and initial endowments. In Korea, the focus was on the top with vertically integrated chaebols as the lead with easy credit supplied by government-controlled banks. Alternatively, in Taiwan, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were dominant, supported by the public sector which took on an enabling role. Crucially, it established agencies such as ITRI acting as technology providers and "incubators". ITRI then spun off successes such as UMC and TSMC (a joint venture with Philips) into the private sector. These became some of the most successful firms of their type in the world. The Singapore strategy was more open to foreign direct investments (FDI) with the crucial role of state agencies such as the Economic Development Board (EDB) in creating backward and forward linkages around the multinational corporations (MNCs) in clusters centred on industrial estates.

The conclusion is rightly that variants of the Singapore model are the most replicable for most developing countries with a focus on MNCs as the production core alongside institutional structures to ensure adequate technology transfer and the creation of backward linkages into the wider economy. Of great contemporary interest is that China has now embraced the successful leverage strategy. As the authors correctly point out, China is big and diverse enough to follow simultaneously all three versions of the leverage strategy.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tiger Technology: The Creation of A Semiconductor Industry in East Asia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.