Factors affecting technology transfer to indigenous construction companies in developing countries : a Malaysian experience
Despite being acknowledged as one of the most important sectors in a developing economy, the role of the construction industry in developing countries is still being undermined by lack of appropriate attention to the development of the industry and its contractors. These issues having been highlighted during the past twenty years by various international organisations; governments of developing countries are beginning to take this matter seriously. One preferred response is to promote technology transfer. It is expected that a substantial degree of technology would be transferred by foreign international contractors to indigenous contractors by the end of a contract period. However, the extent and quality of transfer varies with the parties involved. The time and methods needed for a sufficient acquisition of technology varies with each construction company, as they possess different internal characteristics. The variability in achieving a desired transformation objective is a major obstacle to the production of capable indigenous contractors. It is important to identify the factors affecting transformation performance; which include in this research, the internal characteristics of the receiving firms, the technology transfer programme, and the type of technology. The Malaysian construction industry was chosen as a context for the study of the variability of transformation performance. Malaysia is one of the fastest growing developing nations in this decade in the world and the author is resident in and familiar with the environment. Its construction activities are very active, with many mega projects involving indigenous contractors and major international players in construction. The respondents for this research were indigenous contractors with some past experience in technology transfer programmes. The findings of the research confirmed that the internal characteristics of firms, technology transfer programme, type of technology and the transformation performance are significantly related.