Impediments to Sustaining South Korea's Economic Development: Pathologies of Cooperation in Intra-Team Dynamics of Technology Commercialization
Technology innovation and commercialization have been the cornerstone of South Korea's remarkable economic development. In this paper, we argue that South Korea's technology-based economic development is unsustainable without fundamental changes in its technology policy-making and implementation approaches. Developed countries' systems of innovation (SI) operating at the technology frontier have increasingly embraced bottom-up technology policy, making them more reliant on cooperation among
... operation among teams at the project level. Drawing on Social Interdependence Theory, this research finds that the intra-team dynamics of South Korea's technology transfer and commercialization (TTC) process negatively impacts on not only current TTC projects, but also the transition of South Korean SI toward an integrative policy approach that fosters innovation and commercialization. It is clear that the top-down policy-making model supportive of linear models of innovation that South Korea has relied on for so long needs to be replaced. However, the current intra-team dynamics of TTC teams may continue to hinder this transition. While Korean TTC teams perceive themselves to be cooperative and effective in general, there is a pronounced lack of cathexis which undermines their cooperation. This may be an impediment to the success of technology commercialization teams and their projects. Further research is warranted to confirm this finding and explore the extent to which this problem hinders the sustained technology-led development of South Korea.