Disruptive Technologys Impact on Chinas Sustainable Economic Growth - Case Study of Alibaba Group

Natasja Krommes

Student thesis: Master thesis


Over the year’s technology have been a key driver for economic development. Especially in a developing country context, where societal development is key for generating better living standards. China has since the end of 1980s begun to develop their business system and has generated unprecedented growth rates. But, after the growth rate peaked in 2010, it has only been dropping. This trend has by scholars been a sign of a near of a middleincome trap. I argue that for China to generate sustainable economic growth rates, technological advances must be made. I find that disruptive technologies are the only innovation which can drastically change the Chinese eco-system. I will therefore undertake the research on, how can Alibaba Group’s disruption impact the Chinese society towards a more sustainable growth?
I have applied a single-case study, for a more in-depth understanding of the impact. This has resulted in a holistic theoretical framework, which implies that the firm will be a focus point. I have found that due to the governance style of China, I have had to have a higher focus on the government, than for other governance styles. Key results have been that the Chinese innovation system has changed over the years to a more holistic non-linear model, rather than a linear innovation system. I have not found clear support of Alibaba Group impacting the Chinese society towards a more sustainable growth. Though it has been found that the disruption defined by western scholars have not accounted for the creativity differences between western and Asian societies. I find that the study has completed the first round of descriptive theory building, this process needs to be redone and I would suggest with a focus on creative thinking.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages74
SupervisorsSudhanshu Rai