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Learning New Technologies by SMEs in Developing Countries

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Author Info

  • Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji

    ()
    (United Nations University, Institute for New Technologies)

  • Lal, Kaushalesh

    ()
    (United Nations University, Institute for New Technologies)

Abstract

This paper, based on new field data, examines the ways in which small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in selected developing countries learn to use and augment their core capabilities with new technologies. This paper presents three findings. First, there is clear evidence of increasing complexity in the adoption and use of ICTs among developing country firms. Second, climbing the technological ladder requires skills upgrading through explicit learning of the new technologies. Third, firm performance is highly associated with learning capabilities, levels of technology, and a host of firm-level knowledge, skills and experience. The study found that across countries and sectors, non-formal learning is the dominant form of mastering new technologies. However, formal local and overseas training are positively associated with increasing technological complexity. There is also a close correlation between technical complexity of firms' internal ICT tools and available telecommunication infrastructure.

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File URL: http://www.intech.unu.edu/publications/discussion-papers/2004-9.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United Nations University - INTECH in its series UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series with number 09.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:unm:unuint:200409

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Related research

Keywords: Learning; new technologies; SMEs; developing countries; ICTs;

References

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  1. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity," NBER Working Papers 5657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  3. Ken Ducatel, 1998. "Learning and Skills in the Knowledge Economy," DRUID Working Papers 98-2, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  4. Bj–rn Johnson & Edward Lorenz & Bengt-�ke Lundvall, 2002. "Why all this fuss about codified and tacit knowledge?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 245-262.
  5. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
  6. Lundvall, Bengt-Ake & Johnson, Bjorn & Andersen, Esben Sloth & Dalum, Bent, 2002. "National systems of production, innovation and competence building," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 213-231, February.
  7. Lal, K., 2004. "E-Business and Export Behavior: Evidence from Indian Firms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 505-517, March.
  8. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
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