Technology transfer and foreign market entry : case of Egypt
The topic of technology transfer has been studied from several perspectives ; however, very few of these addressed the association beetween technology transfer and various foreign market modes of entry in developing countries, and especially in Egypt. Moreover, a coherent and systematic framework for understanding the dynamics of the process of technology transfer does not clearly emerge from the literature; neither does the assessment of the implications of national policy and interlinked issues on the content of technology transferred from foreign market modes of entry. Hence, the key objectives of the current thesis are "To develop a dynamic conceptual framework that allows for systematic representation and exploration of the process of technology transfer associated with different modes of foreign entry into a host developing country (Egypt); To empirically explore the dynamic process of technology transfer associated with foreign market modes of entry into Egypt; and To a ssess and critique Egypt's current policy environment impacting on modes of foreign entry into Egypt and their associated technology transfer". This thesis qualitatively explores the technology transfer process occurring in foreign companies operating in Egypt, under various contractual and investment modes of entry. The empirical findings of the multiple case analyses (conducted using in-depth interviews) and the subsequent cross-case synthesis showed that the framework developed in this thesis is valid and applies well to all explored cases. Findings also revealed that the highest level of technology transfer occurred at start-up phases of all modes. This transfer involved all components of technology. In cases of FDI and JVs, technology transfer is sustained through continuous and regular foreign interactions, and increases with the introduction of new 'events' such as new product lines being added. In the licensing modes, a slow down of technology transfer is found after start-up phases. In regards to linkage issues impacting on both foreign entry and technology transfer, the findings confirmed many expectations outlined from the literature, such as the importance of learning, compatibility of partners, contractual perspectives (and others). Some issues emerging from literature were not substantiated by findings of this thesis such as the importance of technological gaps in entry mode decisions. In addition, new issues were identified, such as the overwhelming impacts of Egyptian government measures that hamper many aspects of technology transfer. Such policy measures include exchange rate policy, as well as inconsistencies and inflexibility of policy implementation. This thesis concludes that modes of foreign entry into Egypt and technology transfer are tightly coupled, but are subject to the effects of many issues. A better understanding of the dynamics of the technology transfer process associated with foreign entries, along with an integrated and more flexible policy framework are essential requirements for attracting quality foreign investments, and catalysing associated transfer of technology. Finally, conducting research on a highly contextual topic such as technology transfer associated with modes of foreign entry, in the very challenging research environment of Egypt (due to many factors such as culture, absence of previous empirical efforts and the current turmoil in the economy) has resulted in several methodological and theoretical contributions. These contributions, along with the limitations of the research and directions for future efforts are discussed.