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Knowledge and Competitive Advantage

The Coevolution of Firms, Technology, and National Institutions

Knowledge and Competitive Advantage by Johann Peter Murmann
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A comparison of the development of the synthetic dye industry in Great Britain, Germany, and the US. The rise of this industry constitutes an important chapter in business, economic, and technological history because synthetic dyes - invented in 1857 - represent the first time that a scientific discovery quickly gave rise to a new industry. British firms led the industry for the next eight years, but German firms came to dominate the industry for decades before WWI, while American firms played only a minor role during the entire period. This study identifies differences in educational institutions and patent laws as the key reasons for German leadership in this industry. Successful firms had strong ties to the centers of organic chemistry knowledge. The book also argues that a complex coevolutionary process linking firms, technology and national institutions resulted in very different degrees of industrial success for dye firms in the three countries.
Cambridge University Press; November 2003
318 pages; ISBN 9780511189050
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Title: Knowledge and Competitive Advantage
Author: Johann Peter Murmann
 
ISBNs
0511189052
9780511189050
9780521813297