Technological Learning in Developing Countries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Technological learning refers to the learning processes involved in improving the productive capabilities of an enterprise, sector or economy to enable it to produce higher quality goods or services with increasing levels of efficiency. Approaches to the study of technological learning include case studies of particular countries, sectors and firms; measures of export sophistication; and composite indicators of innovation and competitiveness. The present review draws on these approaches to provide an overview of the policies and practices that have been successful in different regions (East-Asia and Latin America) ; contexts (import substitution and liberalization) ; sectors (pulp and paper, IT services, electronics and passenger cars); and firms (Embrear and Lenovo). While it is clear that there is strong complementarity between domestic technological capability and the ability to absorb foreign technology, there is no simple policy recipe which is appropriate for all times, industries or places. Technological learning builds on and is shaped by what is already known. It requires time, space and resources all of which are influenced by the wider domestic and international context. The current international context is challenging but countries and firms have to find ways of moving forward despite the limited strategy space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Industry and Development
EditorsJohn Weiss, Michael Tribe
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780203387061
ISBN (Print)9780415819695
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


  • technology, capability, learniong, development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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