Technology transfer dynamics : lessons from the Egyptian and Indian pharmaceutical industries
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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Over the past fifty years, development theorists have presented multiple explanations for why industrial technology transfer to developing countries is difficult. Although much progress has been made in identifying broad areas of transfer failure, concrete technology transfer policy lessons for firms and governments remain elusive. This dissertation examines the technology transfer challenges faced by firms in developing countries during intermediate industrialization. Using the Egyptian and Indian pharmaceutical industries as case studies, it undertakes two tasks. First, the study analyzes full-cooperation transfers to understand the obstacles encountered by three types of local and foreign pharmaceutical transfer partners (multinational drug headquarters and subsidiaries, equipment suppliers and buyers, and equipment manufacturing joint ventures). Second, the research examines no-cooperation transfers, and the experiences of local firms that learn pharmaceutical manufacturing skills by copying existing drugs on the world market. This part of the research>articularly focuses on how Egyptian and Indian drug firms are responding to an international patent agreement, TRIPs, that severely restricts the scope of their imitation activities. In the context of both the full-cooperation and no-cooperation cases, this dissertation empirically evaluates four main theories in the debate over why technology transfer to industrial firms in developing countries is difficult: (1) technological knowledge; (2) recipient characteristics; (3) transferor characteristics; and, (4) economic environment. This dissertation finds that the development literature provides incomplete explanations of firm transfer experiences and obstacles, and provides alternative conceptualizations of technology transfer dynamics during industrialization. First, codified technology transfers can be just as problematic as tacit ones, implying that a technology's knowledge characteristics are not directly correlated with transfer ease. Second, rather than transferors teaching recipients how to use technology, partners often work together to solve new problems that occur at the local site. Third, while transfer problems do revolve around technical issues, they are frequently precipitated by social issues, namely communication and rapport difficulties between partners. Fourth, contrary to widespread thinking, government industrial policy can be a positive force in technology transfer. By create a demanding home environment for local firms, the state can force firms to improve their technological capabilities, and to prepare themselves for global market competition.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 1999.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 139-142).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.