Development of a framework for technology transfer partnerships in the Ghanaian construction industry

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MAY, 2015
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Technology Transfer (TT) is in the interest of many developing countries for creating the necessary infrastructure which underpin the fundamentals of the construction industry and sustainable economic activity for improving living standards. Globally, technology transfer partnerships (TTPs) from transferor to transferee firms continue to stimulate rapid industrialization and economic growth particularly in the fast growing developing countries. Numerous researchers and practitioners have reported that developing countries lack the technology and the “know-how” for managing complex and multi-disciplinary construction projects and also there is an absence of appropriate TTPs framework. However, these deficiencies can be overcome by implementing TT initiatives on construction projects in DCs, to enhance the local industry’s technical capabilities and knowledge. The aim of this research was to explore TTPs in Ghana, and to develop a conceptual framework for facilitating the flow of technology from transferor to transferee construction firms in Ghana. An extensive literature review was conducted on this subject towards the understanding of TT; and critical review of extant models on TT process. The review was supported with an in-depth exploratory interview to verify the issues identified in the literature and explore new areas which might not have been given expanded view in literature. The results obtained from the literature review and the in-depth interview provided the basis of the development of a conceptual framework and questionnaires for the field. Similarly, the conceptual framework on TTPs process was adopted culminating into postulation of nine (9) key TT enablers hypotheses. Philosophically, this study leaned towards the positivism paradigm culminating into the adoption of qualitative and quantitative methods in which a case study interviews and survey questionnaires were administered to respondents involving TT initiatives yielding a response rate of 78 percent. Subsequently, the statistical tools utilized in data analysis include mean score; chi square test of independence; factor analysis; and descriptive analysis. Adopting a wide range of independent variables, the study found out that the independent variables to be significantly reliant on the dependent variables. The key findings of this study led to the development of a conceptual TTPs framework for the Ghanaian construction industry. Theoretically, numerous researchers have attempted to conduct TT models which predominately focused on business and manufacturing sectors. Unfortunately, none of these existing models endeavors to explore TTPs in Ghana and in attempt to fill this knowledge gap, this study developed a conceptual framework for TTPs in Ghanaian construction industry, which captured the relevant factors that influence the effectiveness of the TT process as well as the value added creation. This study contributes to more practical references to reveal the critical factors on successful transfer of technology and knowledge in order to fit in the TT process. The developed framework will aid researchers to better understand the TT process and the pertinent relationships to achieveing value from TT operations. Again, this study provides evidence of use to both engineering and construction professional as well as the economy to solve corporate problems and to guarantee value for inflows from advanced countries by managing projects efficiently. Further studies are recommended to refine and validate the framework using structural equations and methods of benchmarking to strengthened the evaluation of performance of TT process in Ghana. Keywords: Conceptual, Construction Industry, Enabler, Ghana, Technology Transfer.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Award of a Master of Philosophy (Mphil) degree in Building Technology, 2015