Keywords: technological learning, value net, nuclear fuel tubes, external management, cooperation, nuclear knowledge management, KAERI, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, nuclear energy, nuclear power plants, technological capabilities, innovation strategy, geopolitics, researcher commitment, researcher motivation, researcher competencies
Technological learning in development of nuclear fuel tube: a case of KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
The aims of the research are to describe the R&D practices in KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) concerning innovation strategy and processes; and to analyse how KAERI is catching up their technological capabilities in nuclear fuel related technology, and what the success factors of KAERI are. We employ a case study with in–depth interviews and document analysis. Thus we are able to address how 'external management' and 'cooperative strategy' with key suppliers, customers and complementors of KEARI have been applied. External management with cooperative strategy is played as a critical facet of R&D in atomic energy research due to its safety and credibility issues as well as international politics in the Korean Peninsula where geopolitics have mattered even in pure commercial R&D for nuclear power plants. So we emphasise external management rather than internally focused management that usually highlights the significances of researchers' motivation, commitment and competencies.