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Jin Xiaolong

DBA Graduate - 2017

Thesis title

The development of technological capability in China's high speed railway industry - a case study with action Learning approach

Supervisor(s)

Yu Xiubao
Purpose This thesis aims to study the development process in which domestic high-speed railway enterprises technology realized technology capability promotion and explore the fundamental cause of their outstanding achievement. In other words, it will focus on the division of development stages and the characteristics of each stage, based on the learning efforts the enterprises have made as well as the results achieved. Design/methodology/approach The thesis provides an overview of the evolution of technological capability within technological capability, imitation innovation and organizational learning literatures. It then summarizes framework for technological learning and capability building through imitative innovation, which is developed into a special one for China’s high-speed railway enterprises with case study method based on first-hand materials obtained through interviews with four enterprises of TRC, TMT, KAT and CRC. Findings According to the analysis, the process of China’s high-speed rail technology innovation is devided into three stages: the stage of technology import, the stage of assimilation & innovation, and the stage of independent innovation. Sustainable development is refined as the core category, with 52 initial categories and 5 main categories summarized from the four enterprises. Research limitations/implications The study adopts a method of literature review combining with coding & analysis based on the grounded theory, still requiring some efforts to catch up with the grounded theory study in the true sense. Practical implications High-speed rail companies requires the participation of government, universities as well as research institutes during each stage of the development process. Enterprises aimed to realize technology capability promotion need to take effective measures positively at different period. Social implications This paper combs the input and policy of resources needed for the cultivation of core competence, based on different stages of different proposals. The innovative development model of the refining is conducive to the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry and has a greater significance for the emerging strategic industry. Originality/value The thesis establishes the process model of technological capability upgrading of China's high-speed railway enterprises. Keywords Technological Capability; Imitation Innovation; Organizational Learning; Learning Efforts; China 's High-speed Railway