Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Dynamics in Innovation Systems: Evidence from Japan´s Game Software Industry

Volume: 37
Number: 9
Pages: 1480 - 1491
Month: October
ISSN-Print: 0048-7333
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2008
Keywords: Path plasticity; Creation of new industries; Innovation system; Japan; Gamesoftware
Abstract: In contrast to the US and recently Europe, Japan appears to be unsuccessful in establishing new industries. An oft-cited example is Japan''s practical invisibility in the global business software sector. Literature has ascribed Japan''s weakness – or conversely, America''s strength – to the specific institutional settings and competences of actors within the respective national innovation system. It has additionally been argued that unlike the American innovation system, with its proven ability to give birth to new industries, the inherent path dependency of the Japanese innovation system makes innovation and establishment of new industries quite difficult. However, there are two notable weaknesses underlying current propositions postulating that only certain innovation systems enable the creation of new industries: first, they mistakenly confound context specific with general empirical observations. And second, they grossly underestimate – or altogether fail to examine – the dynamics within innovation systems. This paper will show that it is precisely the dynamics within innovation systems – dynamics founded on the concept of path plasticity – which have enabled Japan to charge forward as a global leader in a highly innovative field: the gamesoftware sector.