Conceptualization of the Absorptive Capability Paradox in Technology Transfer Projects: A Study of the Ghanaian Construction Industry
Technology transfer projects within the construction industry transcends crossnational, -industrial sector and/ or business-to-business interfaces to transfer knowledge and technical capacity to enhance a recipient’s capabilities. These capabilities encapsulate both new forms of knowledge (soft technology), and/ or skills and tools (hard technology) which drive business efficiency gains and concomitant productivity/ profitability enhancements. In the developing world, technologically advanced construction organizations from developed nations often initiate and steer the technology transfer process when working with developing world partners. Maximizing the opportunity presented depends upon the recipient’s ‘absorptive capacity’ and hitherto scant research has been conducted in this novel area of construction science. This paper therefore seeks to clarify the enablers of absorptive capability in Ghanaian construction technology transfer projects. Using a quantitative analytical approach, theoretical hypotheses generated were tested on empirical data gathered from technology transfer projects. Results reveal that a significant relationship exists between the dependent variable (absorptive capacity) and independent variables (employee capability; knowledge sharing; working culture; research and development (R&D) capability; and communication capability). The findings will provide guidance for construction contractors in developing countries who seek to improve their technical knowledge and capability.