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Limits to globalization: organizational homogeneity and diversity in the semiconductor industry


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West, J 2002 , 'Limits to globalization: organizational homogeneity and diversity in the semiconductor industry' , Industrial and Corporate Change, vol. 11, no. 1 , pp. 159-188 .

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This paper provides empirical evidence for the microeconomic existence of distinctive national modes of organization for technology development. Evidence from the semiconductor industry shows that two forms of organization not only arose as the industry expanded, but that the differences were maintained, or expanded, with neither side ‘converging’ on the other, even as manufacturing-process development performance converged. Four propositions are tested statistically: (1) the organizational strategies employed by a sample of leading firms in the United States and Japan were significantly different, across a range of dimensions important to manufacturing process development; (2) these modes of organization did not converge during the 1980s and 1990s, even as technology markets globalized, rather they grew increasingly different; (3) these modes of organization can meaningfully be described as nationally specific; (4) process development performance converged over time. The paper suggests an explanation for the observed divergent organizational paths by placing these strategies into institutional and cultural context.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:West, J
Journal or Publication Title: Industrial and Corporate Change
ISSN: 0960-6491
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