Industrial upgrading, exploitative innovations and explorative innovations

Arash Azadegan, Stephan M. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Industrial upgrading (IU), the stepwise development of manufacturing skills from simple to more complicated tasks, can be a highly effective approach for late entrants. IU relies on a sequential and paced approach to develop progressively more complicated industry-established practices. We explore the effects of IU on innovation performance. Using path analysis on a sample of 353 manufacturers, we show that firms can progress from lower rungs of manufacturing and design to higher rungs. Progression afforded through IU result in a positive association with exploitative innovations, which partially mediate the effect of IU on explorative innovations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-65
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Cumulative capabilities
  • Industrial upgrading
  • Innovation
  • Organizational learning


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