A comparative innovation study of China, Japan and Taiwan

William H.A. Johnson, Michael Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to compare the two (arguably) most successful innovation-based Asian economies with Mainland China (later referred to simply as China) in order to examine where China stands in terms of country-level indicators of proactive innovation. Design/methodology/approach: The paper utilizes a historical case-based analysis of the education systems of each of the economies of interest to explore the different paths towards higher education for each economy. Data were gathered from existing databases to obtain measures on a number of country-level indicators of proactive innovation. These indicators measure the innovation, education and economic situations of the three economies. Findings: It was found that the Taiwanese experience towards proactive innovation lies in between China and Japan in terms of progress on the innovation indicators. While the numbers for China's growth in education and areas of science and technology are staggering there is some evidence that the quality of the output needs improvement. Further research on Taiwanese-based innovation efforts would help in this regard. Originality/value: Given the push towards indigenous innovation in China today, benchmarking against competitive innovation-based economies is important. The two economies chosen are not only Asian-based but also well-known for high-quality innovation outcomes. As such, they represent excellent benchmark examples from which China may learn much about developing a proactive national innovation system. China would benefit from using Taiwan as an example of successful innovation at a regional level, given the cultural proximity and trajectory of the innovation-based indicators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-400
Number of pages16
JournalChinese Management Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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