The strategic partnership model for technology transfer : the Venezuelan telecommunications case.
This thesis presents a study of technology transfer within the
telecommunications company of Venezuela (CANTV) between 1991-1996.
The thesis examines, in-depth, a single case - CANTV - at a critical time in
its history. The company was state-owned until 1991 when it became a
partnership with a US corporation, General Telephone Electronic (GTE) and
Telefonica de Espana.
The case is discussed against the background of global re-organisation of the
telecommunications sector, its institutional transformation and technological
change to provide an empirical foundation for a extensive study of
technology transfer within the context of international alliances. It extends
established theories which, hitherto, have not adequately described the role of
partnerships as a conduit for the transfer of technologies.
Until the early 1990s the performance of CANTV was far below international
best practice. It was determined, at governmental level in Venezuela, to
institute a radical transformation and profound changes took place in
ownership, technology and, subsequently, performance.
The case was analysed using a multi-disciplinary and longitudinal approach,
drawing extensively on grounded theory. Data was gathered by participant
observation, extensive interviews, study of company and governmental
documentation. Frameworks for analysis were drawn from innovation theory,
analyses of international technology transfer approaches and business
In addition to an extensive organisational study, focusing on the relationships
between partners, two specific technologies selected for examination as they
were transferred into CANTV from partners. One technology was
'successfully transferred, the other not - this provided data for a detailed
The research concludes that a 'new' model of technology transfer has emerged
within strategic partnerships and international alliances. However, to be
successful, a portfolio of managerial capabilities is needed to reap the benefits
of potential synergies between partners. Especially important are
management skills and processes to define partners' capabilities, position
technologies, manage complex transfer processes and support on-going