SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Kuroda, Akira (1997) The spread of the "Japanese type" production system into Asia: Evolutionary theories and the case of Thai auto and electrical parts industries. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (15MB)


In the past, technology efficiently assisted industrialised countries in their conquest of colonies. However, technology has not helped many less developed countries in their industrialisation. Although some literature contended that technology would inevitably spread to less developed countries, it has spread only partially to most less developed countries. The literature seems to have failed to present a clear picture of how a less developed country can acquire technology. Recently, East Asian economies and their peculiar nature became a focal point in Western literature. A key to understand their development path lies in Akamatsu's "flying-geese" pattern theory, which shows the mechanism of technology diffusion from more developed to less developed countries. Starting from Akamatsu's theory, this thesis argues that East Asian economies today are specifically set within a culture, where labour and management co-operate, and where large industry and small-medium industry cooperate. In this culture, technology spreads from more developed to less developed countries and facilitates faster industrialisation. Also, this thesis argues that technology is dynamic and complex. Learning technology is not an easy matter. Technology diffuses through human contact, and accumulates. Japanese expatriates try to teach technology to local workers, not to hide it as argued by the intelligentsia in ASEAN countries. This thesis measures the levels to which technology has been learnt, examining effective borrowing processes in the context of Thailand's auto parts and electrical parts industries. Thus, this thesis contributes to the study of technology transfer in the Third World countries, which has been affected so far by a narrow understanding of technology.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:16

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item