An interdisciplinary study of regional innovation system and technological innovation capabilities in HK/PRD manufacturing industries


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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  • Wai Lam LO


Awarding Institution
Award date15 Jul 2008


Innovation has been studied from two different perspectives, the Regional Innovation System (RIS) approach and Firm Innovation System (FIS) approach. Although there is a growing interest in integrating the two approaches, there is still little empirical study on the relationship between the RIS and FIS. This study tries to explore the relationship between the RIS and FIS in an empirical manner to supplement the knowledge gap in the existing literature. It investigates the relationships among utilization of innovation sources (SI), utilization of regional innovation policy (RIP), technological innovation capabilities (TICs) and technological innovation performances (TIP), with emphasis on empirical evidences. The basic premise of the study suggests that, if SI and RIP of a RIS are better utilized, they can improve TIP through the enhancement of multiple TICs. This utilization idea, discussed mainly conceptually in existing literature, is verified empirically in this study. This study also explores the dual roles of Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS), i.e. the source and the bridging role for innovation in RIS. A mailed-in survey with a self-administered questionnaire was conducted to collect data. Follow-up interview was conducted to verify the findings. The utilization concept and the dual roles of KIBS were verified through the structural equation modeling (SEM). The research model linking SI, RIP, TIC and TIP was tested to verify the bridging function of TIC for RIS and FIS. The results of the goodness of fit tests in the structural equation modeling (SEM) have confirmed that the research model is valid, i.e. TIC can act as a bridge between RIS and FIS. The findings also verified the utilization concept of SI on TIC. These interrelationships contribute to RIS literature by providing empirical evidence on how firms can interact with the RIS through the utilization of SI to enhance their technological innovation capability for global competitiveness. The findings also confirm the dual roles of the KIBS, i.e. the source and the bridging roles for innovation. The insignificant relationships between RIP to TICs and TIPs respectively have highlighted the ineffectiveness of the current RIP in HK/PRD region. Based on the findings, managerial implications for Hong Kong technology policy maker and Hong Kong manufacturers were proposed.

    Research areas

  • Hong Kong, Manufacturing industries, Pearl River Delta, China, Regional planning, Technological innovations