Print page

Technological Learning

A Strategic Imperative for Firms in the Developing World Gillian M. Marcelle, Principal Consultant, Technology for Development (TfDev), South Africa and Visiting Fellow, SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex, UK
This book investigates how individual firms in developing countries undertake technological learning and capability building (TCB) efforts and explains why some developing country firms are world-class and others struggle with these important processes
Extent: 232 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 978 1 84376 692 6
Availability: In Stock
$0.00

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

Join our mailing list

  • Development Studies
  • Development Economics
  • Development Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • Development Economics
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Technology and ICT
This book investigates how individual firms in developing countries undertake technological learning and capability building (TCB) efforts and explains why some developing country firms are world-class and others struggle with these important processes.

The study concludes that it is internal competencies, such as the ability to manage strategic change and develop coherent systems that enable firms in developing countries to effectively navigate technological frontiers, the network of global suppliers and weak national innovation systems. In particular, the ability to strike a strategic balance between developing a diverse range of internal learning routines and managing boundary assets over which they have only partial control is found to be of importance.

The conceptual framework developed for this study – the TCB system approach – draws on a number of intellectual traditions, including organizational development, strategic management, innovation studies, development studies and evolutionary theory of the firm. Conclusions are drawn using this approach to perform a detailed cross-sectional analysis of technological learning in a sample of 26 telecommunication operating companies in Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa.

By focusing on firms in the services sector, rather than in manufacturing, the study covers an area that is under researched and identifies many distinctive features of the capability building process. It is also able to offer insights on how the majority of firms in developing countries should cope with the challenges of speed and complexity of technological change even when they are not aiming to generate radical innovations at the frontier.

Technological Learning will be of great interest to a wide-ranging audience, including science and technology academics, scholars and policy makers in developing countries, telecommunications managers and executives, and organisational management scholars focusing on developing country issues.
‘. . . Marcelle’s integrative approach, amalgamating various schools of thought and adapting to them; assessing endogenous and exogenous factors; and using a mixture of quantitative analysis to substantiate her claims, offers academics, policymakers and business leaders interested in development, technology, industries, organizational learning and boundary relations, a rigorous, comprehensive study with a refreshing, insightful point of view.’
– Alexandra Mallett, Progress in Development Studies
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. The TCB System Approach 3. A Quantitative Exploration of Technological Learning 4. Management, Culture and Leadership for Learning 5. Managing Supplier Relationships 6. Role of the Innovation System 7. Strategic Balance Appendices References Index