Research on the international transfer of technology in economics and management literature has primarily focused on the role of countries and that of companies, in particular multinational enterprises (MNEs). Similarly, economic and business historians have tended to view international technology transfer as a way for economically ‘backward’ countries to acquire new technologies in order to catch up with more developed economies. This volume provides a more in-depth understanding of how the international transfer of technologies is organized and, in particular, challenges the core-periphery model that is still dominant in the extant literature.
By looking beyond national systems of innovation, and statistics on foreign trade, patent registration and foreign direct investment, the book sheds more light on the variety of actors involved in the transfer process (including engineers, entrepreneurs, governments, public bodies, firms, etc.) and on how they make use of a broad set of national and international institutions facilitating technology transfer. Put differently, the volume offers a better understanding of the complexity of global technology flows by examining the role and actions of the different actors involved. By bringing together a number of original case studies covering many different countries over the period from the late 19th to the 21st century, the book demonstrates how technology is being transferred through complex processes, involving a variety of actors from several countries using the national and international institutional frameworks.
Table of Contents
Introduction Pierre-Yves Donzé and Shigehiro Nishimura Part 1: The International Patent System 1. Foreign Patenting in Germany, 1877-1932 Harald Degner and Jochen Streb 2. Why did Multinationals Patent in Spain? Several Historical Inquires J. Patricio Sáiz and David Pretel 3. The Adoption of American Patent Management in Japan: The Case of General Electric Shigehiro Nishimura Part 2: The Role of Cartels 4. European Cartels and Technology Transfer: The Experience of the Rayon Industry, 1920 to 1940 Valerio Cerretano 5. Big Business, Inter-Firm Cooperation and National Governments: The International Aluminium Cartel, 1886-1939 Marco Bertilorenzi 6. The Swiss Watch Cartel and the Control of Technology Flows toward Rival Nations, 1930-1960 Pierre-Yves Donzé Part 3: Learning from Foreign Firms 7. Technological Transfers in Argentina’s Early Industrialization: Agents and Paths, 1900-1930 María Inés Barbero 8. American "Soft" Technologies and French Big Business after World War II: Alstom and GE Pierre Lamard 9. Foreign Technologies and Domestic Capital: The Rise of Independent Automobile Makers in China, 1990s-2000s Zejian Li Part 4: Engineers as Intermediaries 10. The Allied Forces and the Spread of German Industrial Technology in Post-War Japan Yuki Nakajima 11. The Introduction of American Mass Production Technology to Japan during the Occupation: The Case of Penicillin Julia Yongue 12. Agents of Change: Bell System Employees and Quality Assurance Knowledge Transfer in Postwar Japan, 1945-1955 Stephen B. Adams and Paul J. Miranti Afterword: Technology transfer and competitive advantage of regions Takafumi Kurosawa
Pierre-Yves Donzé is associate professor and Hakubi scholar at Kyoto University. His publications include History of the Swiss watch industry from Jacques David to Nicolas Hayek (2011) and articles in Business History (2010 and 2013), Social history of medicine (2010), Enterprise & Society (2011) and Business History Review (2013).
Shigehiro Nishimura is associate professor of business history at the Kansai University. He was the Visiting Fellow of the Business History Unit of the London School of Economics and Political Science from 2011 to 2012. His publications include an article in Japanese Research in Business History (2004).
"This book deals with an important but understudied topic of technology flows across national boundaries. Both communities of business history and history of technology will benefit from having available a set of in-depth case studies on this topic." – Hyungsub Choi, Seoul National University, Korea