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Title: The dynamics of competence building in European and Japanese firms : the case of optoelectronics.
Author: Miyazaki, Kumiko.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1993
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The central aim of this thesis was to examine the dynamics of competence building processes at the firm level in an international sample of companies engaged in the field of optoelectronics. The development of empirical measures to assess the dynamics of competence building is crucially important both for management practice and the modem theory- of the firm. The concept was derived from the notion of firm specific competencies which are closely related to the firm's intangible assets and its accumulated technological bases. The principal argument has been that in the development of technological competence. firms would view a radically new opportunity offered by an emerging new technology such as optoelectronics from different angles, shaped to a large extent by their different technological bases and business interests. Competence building is a painstaking, lengthy arduous process. characterized by uncertainty, trial and error. and requires continuous learning. Several factors affect the rate and direction of competence building, chief among them being: primary markets, top management strategy and the evolution of the R&D organization, management of the linkages between systems, key components and component generic technologies, organizational learning and economies of scope. Two main investigation techniques were employed to support my argument. The first consisted of statistical analysis of bibliometric scientific publications data and US patent data of the firms involved. The second consisted of in-depth interviews with the firms' researchers and R&D managers, who provided data on the historical account of the firms' optoelectronics competence building processes. A novel pioneering technique was developed to measure competencies using the three types of data. The analysis showed that within large firms, variation existed in the scope of competence building depending on the range of prior capabilities. The areas of strength and weakness within optoelectronics could be used to group the firms into three groups of 1, communications driven 2, consumer and industrial electronics driven 3, evenly balanced firms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management & business studies