Learning New Technologies by SMEs in Developing Countries
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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