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International technology transfer in the Chinese coal mining industry

This study investigated international technology transfer (ITT) of the coal mining industry in the Chinese context, and it focused primarily on how to achieve successful ITT by identifying affecting factors. The coal mining industry, as a dominant industry in China, hopes to achieve technological innovation and leapfrogging by ITT, because innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower and followers will have to continue purchasing technology from leaders. ITT is a complex process and many factors affect its success, so understanding of the affecting factors facilitates the industry to sufficiently learn and absorb foreign technology to achieve innovation. A number of researchers have studied the ways in which ITT can be achieved successfully in contexts other than the Chinese coal mining industry. However, in the Chinese context, it is still relatively unclear what factors affect the effectiveness of ITT. Owing to the scant literature on ITT in the industry, a pilot case studies was firstly designed and conducted with involvement of the following three types of coal mines: large state-owned, local state-owned and small coal mines. Then a main case studies was designed through observing these types of coal mines and conducting eighteen in-depth semi-structured interviews with general managers, general engineers and directors from the respective three coal mines. The aim of the design is to develop a substantial theoretical framework for generating hypotheses by combining extant literature with the findings of the pilot case studies. In addition, a self-completion questionnaire was designed based on findings from the case studies and then administered through a web-based survey in order to test hypotheses and identify the affecting factors. 629 questionnaires were collected from large stated-owned coal mines and they were analysed by multiple linear regression. Design of the survey enables the researcher to generalize the qualitative findings beyond the specific case. Data from the case studies and survey were used to triangulate perspectives and 5 findings. The main finding of the research revealed that the Chinese government made relevant safeguard regulations and punished IPR violation, which facilitated ITT. However, the government drew up encouragement policies and innovation strategies blindly based on its own visions or goals rather than the practical situation of coal mines; a number of managers of the coal mines interfered excessively with learning activities even without relevant background knowledge; and these interventions resulted in poor ITT performance. Furthermore, the large state-owned coal mine as transferee owned relevant background knowledge and provided relevant training to staff as well as building a good learning environment and establishing efficient team learning, which improved the effectiveness of its ITT. The theoretical contribution of this study lies in filling gap in the ITT literature in China and tested the generalizability of the existing theories. The findings suggested that a number of extant theories are not applicable to the Chinese context. In order to make extant theories better ‘fit’ into the Chinese context, this study suggests modifying extant theories based on government, technology management and team learning, which are three controllable and vital dimensions affecting the effectiveness of ITT in the Chinese coal mining industry.
Date January 2014
CreatorsLi, Qi
PublisherUniversity of Newcastle upon Tyne
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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