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Hollowing Out or Sustaining? Taiwan's SME Network-based Production System Reconsidered, 1996-2011.

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    • Alternate Title:
      台灣奇蹟的幻滅? 重探台灣中小企業的網絡式生產體系, 1996-2011. (Chinese)
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    • Abstract:
      The dominant view of Taiwan's industrial transformation suggests scaling up and growing concentration as the strategies for surviving global competition, thus implying the demise of the SME system. Through a detailed sectoral analysis of Taiwan's manufacturing industries during the 1996-2011 period, using industrial and commerce census data, this article examines two competing questions (1) whether a SME network-based production system is still viable in Taiwan, and (2) whether Taiwan's industrial structure is headed towards the modern industrial capitalism associated with increasing concentration and dominance by large corporations. The detailed breakdown by sectoral analysis suggests the following. (1) The Information Technology (IT) sector may have skewed our understanding of the overall performance of Taiwan's manufacturing sector. The growth-driven approach, which centers on the performance of individual firms making the final product, has overlooked the value-added by independent parts makers. (2) The contribution of the machinery and metal sector (mostly SMEs) to Taiwan's economy, measured by value-added, is similar to that of the IT sector (with the exception of the semiconductor industry) on which current generalizations on the rise of large firms draw. (3) Lastly, contrary to the claim of the hollowing out of SMEs with the rise of the IT sector and that Chandlerian modern large corporations prevail, the findings reveal that the decentralized production system in which a system of SMEs and the networks among them for coordinating economic activities continues to thrive. The article then discusses the mechanisms that drive the SME system, namely, the overlooked role of parts makers and their cross-sectoral, skills- based learning, and the role of para-public institutions in coordinating a decentralized industrial system. It concludes with a reconceptualization of the paths to prosperity and policy implications. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
      關於台灣的產業轉型,目前的主流論述是:台灣產業結構正轉向 以集中化與大公司支配為特徵的現代資本主義形式,過去創造台灣奇 蹟的中小企業網絡生產體系將式微。為檢驗上述命題,本文使用1996 年到2011 年的工商普查資料檔,分析製造業各部門後發現:(1)大企 業主宰台灣產業的命題是根據資訊工業的發展經驗所提出,其關注生 產最終產品的廠商,卻忽略了對附加價值有相當貢獻的各式零件廠 商。(2)以附加價值而論,以中小企業網絡生產模式為主的機械與金屬 部門對台灣經濟的貢獻,實際上與資訊產業部門(扣除半導體產業) 相去無幾。(3)中小企業並沒有因為資訊產業(高科技產業)的興起而 空洞化。 本文接著討論驅動中小企業體系的機制,包括零件廠商跨部門的 技術交流與學習;公共研發機構在分散化生產體系中扮演協調的角 色。最後,本文修正產業發展模式的概念,並討論相關政策意涵。 [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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