Survey on Supply Chains and Management of Technical Know-how

Author Name OKAZAKI Yurie (Kaetu University) / SAITO Kosuke (Sophia University) / TSUCHIYA Takahiro (Kyoto University of Advanced Science) / SAHASHI Ryo (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2023 23-J-013
Research Project Studies on Transformations of International Systems and their Impact on Japan's Mid- & Long-term Competitiveness
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The importance of managing critical technologies is growing as the U.S.-China rivalry intensifies. This research aims to clarify how the policies and regulations of Japan, the U.S., and China on the management of supply chains and innovation ecosystems are reflected in (1) firms' perceptions and (2) actual business decisions. It surveyed the top 5,000 patent application firms in 2021, excluding local governments, universities, and other entities. After surveying 3,794 of the top 5,000 patent application companies, we obtained a valid sample of 305 companies (response rate: 8.0%).

The survey revealed that many companies in various industries need to implement management of technical know-how. While the most common pattern of technological outflow was through retirees, there were few cases where actual management of technical know-how involved tracking the movements of retirees.

The regression analysis results also indicated that firms that are doing business with both China and the U.S. and receiving investment and funds from both were negatively affected by the U.S.-China conflict. Firms expanding overseas and with a large number of patents are more likely to be negatively affected by the U.S.-China conflict. However, this effect can be offset by implementing management of technical know-how.