Inderscience Publishers

Evolution of the South Korean wireless industry: from state guidance to global competition

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Two of the leading wireless manufacturers, LG and Samsung, got their start from Korean state-sponsored efforts to support industrialisation in advanced technology. These efforts follow an evolutionary trajectory of heavy handed state ‘guidance’ to a more regulatory approach in line with change circumstances and events, including the companies' success. While not without negative and idiosyncratic aspects, the South Korean experience in developing wireless champions points to a general strategy for state-private company relations for other developing nations. These include the importance of financial support, focused investments in human capital, and the interlinking of social capital networks around a common national purpose. As in the case of Nokia, the development of a specific sectoral strategy, the ability to absorb multiple failures along the way, and the embracing of a research and development strategy oriented towards global export success all suggest the importance of timing and learning featured in this edition.

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