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Title: Technology transfer and the acquisition of technological capabilities : the development of public digital switching technology in China
Author: Shen, Xiaobai
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis examines the scope for developing countries, and in particular those with a socialist tradition like China, to benefit from advanced technologies developed in the West and acquire indigenous technological capacities. Empirically it investigates China's attempts to acquire capabilities in the highly complex field of - Public Digital Switching Systems (PDSS) - the technology at the heart of modern telecommunications systems and therefore of great social and economic importance. The study builds upon a critical review of literature in three areas: development studies, studies of socialist economies and technology studies. It explores how developing countries might utilise exogenous technological competencies effectively, by means of 'dual technology development' with appropriate strategies for technology transfer and processes of technological learning to transform exogenous competencies into indigenous ones. Two detailed case studies are presented and analysed in the wider social and economic context. One involves the wholesale transfer of capabilities to produce a Western PDSS technology in China (System 12) through a joint venture project. The other involves the indigenous development of a Chinese PDSS (HJD-04) conceived by a military R&D institute, and brought to production through a collaboration with two other bodies in the Chinese telecommunication sector. These cases highlight the range of choices available in the acquisition of technological capabilities - from large scale and formal technology transfer (System 12), which provided a wide range of means for technological learning, to the selective import of component technologies (HJD-04) and their effective combination with locally available expertise. They offer different opportunities for further innovation and for local shaping of these technologies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available