International Trade and Competition in High Technology
The rise and fall of the high-technology industries of the 1990s reflect broader changes in markets, production organization, and business models, as well as the operation of government policies. These broader changes, which include but go well beyond the Internet revolution itself, suggest that the industrial economy is being fundamentally transformed by the diffusion of innovations in technology and business models across the industrial and industrializing economies. At the same time, these changes cannot be understood without a deeper examination of the factors that created competitive advantage at the national level in many of these industries during the previous three decades. This course explores the broad changes in “who is winning, who is losing, and why” in global markets for high-technology goods ranging from semiconductors to commercial aircraft.
This course seeks to make sense of, inter alia, the decline and prospective recovery of U.S. high-technology industries, the evolution of innovation and technology strategies and policies in Western Europe and Asia, the historic and current roles of governments in shaping markets for high-technology goods, and the impact on business strategies of recent developments in early-stage capital markets. Our general approach views technological innovation and competition as dynamic processes that reflect previous choices made by firms and governments. Modern technologies develop in markets that are international in scope, often imperfectly competitive, and subject to influence by a variety of economic and political stakeholders. We will use an eclectic mix of theoretical, historical, and practical perspectives throughout the course in examining these issues, although no special familiarity with any of these is assumed. From time to time, we will be joined by venture capitalists, corporate executives, and technologists engaged in global high-technology markets for discussion of these issues.
CLASS FORMAT: Seminar with cases, discussions, lectures and guest speakers.
REQUIRED READINGS: All students should purchase the Class Reader which will include the required HBS case studies and other articles.
BASIS FOR FINAL GRADE: Students will be expected to undertake one substantial research project, in cross-disciplinary teams, requiring both traditional and on-line research skills. Each team will present briefly to the class as a whole. The grade will be based on the general in-class participation and the final research report.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Charles C. Wu is currently a Lecturer in the Management of Technology Program with over 20 years of pragmatic experience in High Technology and 14 years representing foreign organizations. He is currently Managing Director and Founder of the Panasonic Digital Concepts Center, Matsushita's Technology Alliances, Venture Capital and Incubator Organization. Prior to Panasonic, Charles was the first US professional at Vertex Venture Holdings, the Venture Capital arm of Singapore Technologies. Charles has served on boards of 11 public and private companies assisting them with their international business relationships and strategy. Charles has a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an BS in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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