Keywords: technological learning, technological capabilities, late industrialisation, timescales, industrialising economies
Time and technological learning in industrialising countries: how long does it take? How fast is it moving (if at all)?
There has been a wealth of research on technological learning in firms, industries and clusters in industrialising economies. Most of this has centred on issues about change over time: paths of technical change, trajectories of capability accumulation, and the forces that shape these trends. This paper argues, however, that little of this work has adequately addressed the empirical heart of these dynamic issues: the time-scales involved, their differences and the reasons for these. Consequently, the field of research can offer managers and policymakers very limited understanding about these time-centred issues at the core of decisions about investment in learning. This is primarily a consequence of the way research has been organised and funded, and the paper calls for new approaches to support deliberately designed longitudinal research.