BURMEISTER, LARRY LOUIS; PHD

                         CORNELL UNIVERSITY, 1985

                         Two competing theories of public sector initiatives are tested in this analysis of South Korean agricultural
                         research policy. The induced innovation model explains publically-supported agricultural research
                         activities as responses to societal preferences. Collective social rationalization of agricultural research is
                         achieved through state-funded organizations which respond to the demands of farmers and others for
                         improved agricultural technologies. An alternative theoretical framework, the directed innovation model,
                         emphasizes the ability of state officials to promulgate public sector economic initiatives to achieve
                         strategic state goals. Agricultural research programs are potential mobilization mechanisms for the
                         increase of physical resources needed to achieve key state objectives related to interstate competition
                         and/or internal domination imperatives. The type of state/society relationship determines the relative
                         strength of directed and induced innovation pressures. As a result of external geopolitical circumstances
                         and internal class dynamics, a bureaucratic-authoritarian regime type characterized by a high degree of
                         relative state autonomy vis-a-vis civil society developed in postwar South Korea. The potential for
                         autonomous state action was especially pronounced in the agricultural sector. An empirical analysis of
                         the South Korean agricultural research program supports the directed innovation interpretation of public
                         sector involvement. Variables which represent directed innovation pressures explain much of the
                         variance in agricultural research expenditures across commodity groups. A study of the Korean rice
                         varietal development program shows that national rice self-sufficiency goals articulated by the highest
                         state officials, rather than farmers' preferences or the scientific arguments of researchers, determined
                         key technical decisions about plant breeding and varietal diffusion strategies. And survey research data
                         on scientific decision-making within the research organization reveals that administrative, rather than
                         clientele or scientific influences, are the most important determinants of scientists' work patterns.
                         Directed and induced innovation theories provide alternative explanations of the role and logic of public
                         sector initiatives in the socioeconomic development process. It is argued that economic activity
                         generated through the public sector may develop as much in response to the state's strategic goals as in
                         response to a collective public rationality which emerges from the profit-maximizing or income-satisficing
                         behavior of individuals or firms.


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