Stimulating competitiveness through technology transfer : a focus on micro-enterprise activity in construction

The role of globalisation and innovation in fostering continuous improvement for both the private and public sector has received increased emphasis within the last decade. The activities of microenterprises in stimulating and adoption of innovation, both as a practice and its nurturing within any economy plays a key part in this respect. Innovation from any large organisation is often visible due to its scope and impact. Similar developments by their smaller and micro- counterparts, however, have to involve a critical mass of such organisations for its impact to be seen. This is particularly the case in developing economies where organisations classified under small and micro-size, normally form part of the informal sector or hidden economy. The mechanics by which innovation occurs within such smaller and micro organisations and how it translates to the national economy is in many cases therefore, not fully appreciated. This paper sheds some light on the mechanics of innovation at the micro level by presenting how technology transfer from a developed to a developing economy was employed to bring about innovation among small and micro organisations that operate in construction and its related sectors. It briefly describes innovation and technology transfer as it relates to the context of this paper and how globalisation contributes to both factors. It discusses the mechanisms for the transfer of the technology, and focuses on the aspects of innovation achieved through the impact of the technology transfer. It also identifies some of the difficulties associated with stimulating innovation amo ng the small and micro organisation within the construction sector.