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This paper reviews academic papers discussing the concept of leapfrogging and aims to systematize studies in the field of industrial leadership theory, in particular in relation to the role of intellectual resources. The study applies bibliometric analysis of relevant literature and critical analysis of successful cases with regard to industrial leadership due to leapfrogging. Historical analysis of the origin of the term ‘leapfrogging’ shows that it first appeared in industrial organization in the context of patent race models and was later developed in the fields of international competition and theory of the firm. In order to test the hypothesis that intellectual resources play the leading role in the success of leapfrogging, we provide brief outlines of case studies from such industries as steel, wine, and video game consoles. Bibliometric analysis of the leading scientific citation databases revealed a recent increase in the number of academic papers discussing leapfrogging. American universities account for the largest share of such publications. The most prolific author in this respect is Keun Lee. A review of the papers published in the last ten years revealed a tendency to analyze successful cases of leapfrogging by using three windows of opportunities: technological, demand, and institutional.
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