Assessing the capability to acquire and absorb technology within the public sector in developing countries : the case of Kuwait
The aim of this research is to assess the acquisition and absorption technology capabilities of the public sector in developing countries, with specific focus on the State of Kuwait. The assessment process of these two capabilities was conducted using a model originally designed for the private sector. In addition, the research aims to propose a framework to enhance the technological capability of developing countries, as well as the performance of the public sector. To achieve these aims, an investigation of the technology process to three public ministries in Kuwait was conducted. The prime interest of this investigation was to evaluate the role of the transferred technology in enhancing the indigenous technological capability of the public sector. The research is based on a case study approach, comprising a main case study (Ministry of Electricity and Water) and three minor case studies. Based on the outcomes from an extensive literature review and the preliminary sectoral visits, the research question and four hypotheses were formulated. These hypotheses were then tested using interview-based survey and documentation. The findings of the research revealed the weakness of the acquisition and absorption technological capabilities of the public sector. Consequently, the public sector relies extensively on foreign contractors and expatriates to compensate for this weakness. Also, it was found that Kuwait Government has not taken the necessary measures to develop its technological capability. This research has proposed a framework which could lead, if properly managed, to the enhancement of indigenous capability. It has also proposed how to improve performance and productivity in the public sector. Finally, the findings suggest that the assessment model, with minor adjustment, is applicable to the public sector.