AbstractIs the rise of the Indian software industry simply another Asian state-dominated industrial growth story or is India distinctive, an economy where small technology entrepreneurs also find niches for development and can be drivers of innovation? Research has focused on the large integrated Indian and international service providers. This study examines the opportunity for growth among smaller innovative technology entrepreneurial firms. Two areas of inquiry are: What factors have been responsible for spurring growth in the Indian IT industry? What type of work is being carried out at Indian firms and is this profile changing? This paper aims to examine the emergence of technology entrepreneurs, particularly in terms of their links to multinational firms and their role and position in global value chains. The paper takes a multi-level approach to understanding development trajectories in the IT sector in India: a global value chain approach to the extent that company processes are seen in their larger networked context across organizations and an institutional approach in terms of state policies that influence the creation of infrastructure that, in turn, shapes organizational development trajectories. Additionally, it examines the role of the various actors within IT sector organizations – the workers, the managers and, in the case of the small companies in our sample, the owners – on the outcome of growth trajectories in the Indian IT sector. We find that the various levels of change and policy all contribute to the outcome in company trajectories: the dominance of multinational enterprises on the market, the entrepreneurial vision and survival strategies of returned technology expatriates, and the changing policies of the government in promoting indigenous business.
SubjectsDevelopment, Emerging economies, Organizational structures, Multinationals, Entrepreneurialism, Software, India
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