State Policy Regimes and Associational Roles in Technology Development: A Tale of Two Metropolises

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The lead trade associations of the bio-pharma and semiconductor industries have differed systematically in their roles in facilitating the development of innovation networks between Shanghai and Shenzhen, two prominent high-tech metropolises in China. Divergent associational roles stem from variations in the regional state policy regime that has exerted differential shaping influence on the structure of social cleavages and strength of reciprocity norms among member firms and on their willingness to actively and cooperatively engage in association-led networking activities. The bio-pharma and semiconductor associations whose network-building roles have been structured differently through varied state policy regimes have displayed dissimilar abilities to reduce network failures and promote the innovation competences of their member firms between the two metropolises. The empirical findings of the article carry important implications for understanding the causes and consequences of varied associational roles in the process of technology development in China, other emerging markets, and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-65
Number of pages36
JournalPolitics & Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Shanghai
  • Shenzhen
  • innovation networks
  • state policy regimes
  • trade associations


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