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Entrepreneurial Capacity to Exploit Opportunities, New Product Development and Firm Performance: A Comparative Study of UK and Chinese High-Tech Firms

Project duration: 1st March 2008 – 31st August 2010
Funding body: Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom

Project Background

This project responds to the call for harnessing entrepreneurship and innovation, by the UK and Chinese governments, as the engine for economic and social prosperity.

The UK’s long-term vision, set out in the Science & Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014, is to make the UK “a key knowledge hub in the global economy, with a reputation not only for outstanding scientific and technological discovery, but also as a world leader in turning that knowledge into new products and services”. The main challenge for the UK is not about how to increase the supply of scientific discovery, as reported in the Lambert Review, but how to exploit innovative ideas and develop new products.

How UK firms can improve their success rate in new product commercialisation either single-handedly or through international collaboration has been a key focus. In particular, the call for greater UK-China cooperation in science and technology is a recurring theme in recent keynote speeches. 

Project Objectives

This research aims to contrast the extent to which organisational factors influence UK and Chinese high-tech firms’ entrepreneurial capacity to exploit opportunities in order to develop new products and improve firm performance. In particular, this research project focuses on three main research questions:  

  1. To what extent do UK and Chinese high-tech firms differ in their capacity to exploit opportunities and approaches to new product development?
  2. What organisational factors influence UK and Chinese high-tech firms’ ability to innovate and their ability to commercialise new products? 
  3. What can UK and Chinese high-tech firms learn from each other (and potentially collaborate) in innovation and new product development?

Project Schedule

  • March 2008 - February 2009
    Research design, sampling and questionnaire survey in the UK and China
  • March 2009 - September 2009
    Case study of selected high-tech companies in the UK and China
  • September 2009 - August 2010
    Research findings, writing up and workshops


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