Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Center for Research Policy


Influenced by the successful science parks and prosperous spontaneous high tech industrial clusters, the establishment of science parks has been one of the features of national and/or regional strategies for promoting science and technology through the late twentieth century. The major objective has been to stimulate innovation and generate economic benefits via assisting knowledge-based firms and knowledge intensive activities. An increasing number of governments of developing countries have been following suit since the 1980s. This has led to the efforts of transferring science park management experiences and practices from developed countries to developing countries. Major concerns that gave rise to this study are the appropriateness of the management principles and practices of parks in developed countries for parks in developing countries and the lack of an analytical framework. In addition, research findings about spontaneous industrial clusters have rarely been applied to the management of science parks, even though they are planned industrial clusters.

The present study seeks to develop a model for science park management in developing countries through investigating three research questions. They are: are the management strategies for science parks in developed countries appropriate for parks in developing countries? Can the factors enhancing the development of spontaneous industrial clusters be used to effectively guide the management of science parks in developing countries? What should be regarded as the achievements for governmentdriven park/campus-style science parks, the mainstream type of parks, in developing countries? Both management strategies for parks in developed countries and factors enhancing the development of spontaneous industrial clusters were identified in the literature. However, there are few studies that adequately inform the third research question. An approach of in-depth case studies facilitated by an exploratory study via interview, therefore, was applied to the investigation of these research questions. Cases selected are Technology Park Malaysia, the Singapore Science Park, and the Thailand Science Park, which all are government-driven schemes in the park/campus style established at the developing stage of their economies.

Findings from the study indicate that advantages derived from spontaneous clustering can be used to guide the development of planned industrial clusters. Not all of these advantages have been widely realized in the field of science park management. On the other hand, even the most extensive model for enhancing the development of spontaneous industrial clusters, Porter's (1990) "diamond", cannot alone effectively guide the management of science parks in developing countries. This is because it doesn't fully take into account appropriate micro management strategies. The result of the present investigation suggests that some management strategies are c o m m o n for science parks irrespective of the status of a country's economic development, others are more dependent on specific environmental factors. Both government, with the macro environment it creates, and a park management team, with the micro management strategies it formulates, influence the success or failure of a science park in a developing country. The argument is developed that the performance of a science park in a developing country is the result of the interactions of two levels of management: the policy level and the science park organizational level. This thesis concludes by applying these findings to the formulation of a "developing economy oriented model" for science park management.