Editor’s Introduction: The scope of Martin Bell’s contribution

Michael Hobday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses some of Martin Bell’s major research contributions and introduces the seven essays written in honour of Martin who recently retired. The Introduction focuses on one of Martin’s core areas of interest: learning and the development of technological capabilities in developing countries, illustrating Martin’s profound and enduring influence on this field of study. The Introduction attempts to summarise the core of Martin’s research on what we term ‘dynamic learning’ (to be contrasted with static, learning by doing) and shows the way Bell’s thinking on this subject has had a significant impact on other related fields of study, including knowledge management, the knowledge-based economy, the resourced-based view of the firm, networks and industrial clusters, global value chain analysis, and research on foreign direct investment spillovers. The Introduction refers to Martin’s own published work and that of some of his many PhD students and colleagues who have followed in his footsteps. The Introduction also touches on Bell’s contribution to policy thinking and policy making at the national and international levels. Finally, it uses the above to develop questions for future research on technological progress in developing economies, focusing especially on Asia. While this brief Introduction cannot capture the breadth or depth of Martin’s intellectual and policy contributions, we hope to reveal Bell’s towering influence on this field of study and the increasing impact of his research on other important academic fields concerned with technological and economic development, catching up and industrial innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAsian Journal of Technology Innovation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Bell
  • Martin Bell
  • Learning
  • Technological capabilities
  • Developing countries
  • Asia


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