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From followers to market leaders: Asian electronics firms in the global economy

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This paper aims to explain how a number of leading electronics firms from Asian newly industrialised economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are articulated into global production networks and become major players in their respective market niches. Developing a triangular theoretical framework, I seek to explain the complex relationships between the dynamic articulation of these leading Asian electronics firms into different global production networks and their simultaneous upgrading from typical followers to market leaders. As a critique of the dominant developmental state discourse, I argue that the interplay between corporate strategies and home base advantages within the context of changing global production networks can offer a better explanation of the differentiated competitive outcomes of these Asian firms. This paper draws upon original data collected through personal interviews with top executives from leading electronics firms in the four Asian newly industrialised economies. I conclude the paper with some implications for theory and policy in relation to corporate development in Asian economies.

Keywords: Asian firms; corporate strategies; global production networks; home base advantages

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, 1 Arts Link, Singapore 117570., Email:

Publication date: April 1, 2007


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