TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS FOR GROWTH OF SMES IN NIGERIA; THE ROLE OF MANAGEMENT.
CHAPTER 1: Introduction
Technology is a systematic application of physical forces for production of goods and services. The knowledge used in practical ways in industry (Oxford 2005). It is the knowledge, process, tools, methods and systems employed in the creation of goods and improving in services. Technology is the result of man’s learned and acquired knowledge or his technical skills regarding how to do things well (Khalil, 2000). Technological innovation provides the life-blood of economic activities. Technological innovation is a tool for economic growth and the application of those inventions to meet emerging business opportunities, and to meet social needs, and environmental challenges.
For any organization to be able to compete, it must be technologically innovative. Technological innovation and core competitiveness enjoy symbiotic relationship (Prhanlad & Hamel, 1990). Technological Innovation Capability (T.I.C) is an important component of the core competitiveness of the manufacturing industry, and core competitiveness play a role in promoting or influencing technological innovation. Technology should be so designed to be able to match the marketing capability of the organization and be seen as reflecting in the strategic plan of the firm and its overall success.
Innovation should match resources inputs, technology and market.
1.1 Background of the Study
A driving force for competitive scuffle in the present chaotic environment is innovation. Introducing new products and services are at the nucleus of economic growth and development. The ability to innovate has caused researchers to study activities leading to initiative advancement of individuals and organisations. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) furnish a strong increase to employment and economic growth specifically due to their innovative activities which becomes a main force of explaining competitive advantage and firm performance. Accordingly, the values fashioned by innovations shows potential circumstances that uncovered new ways of doing things or new products and processes that add benefits to economic fortunes.
In both developed and developing countries of the world, SMEs companies have proofed to be prominent in terms of employment and added values to gross domestic product, ‘yet their full potential remains untapped’ Schlogl, (2004) cited in . The support given for the startup of SMEs, necessitate them to becoming important engines for innovation and technological advancement. In 2007, The World business council for sustainable development gave a summary of the weight SMEs lend to government and individuals: SMEs that are properly supervised become means of employment prospect and affluence creation. They aid in the generation of revenue and create communal solidity. Bigger organizations are provided with local services and supplies and communities have access to affordable goods and services at lower costs. Furthermore, ‘by working closely with SMEs, large corporations can develop a new customer base that may not be accessible to the traditional distribution networks of these corporations’. Thus SMEs are a reliable source of supply and have understanding of the pattern of procurement.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
SMEs, world over have been found to provide jobs for about 75% of the workforce of any country. In periods of liberalization and privatization SMEs especially in emerging economics, has become vital economic tools and bedding seeds for entrepreneurship development and indigenous technology that create employment and are better positioned over bigger firms in their capacity to be innovative. However there are barriers to the activities of innovation in SMEs which according to include a lack in capital investment, infrastructure, education and training systems, encumber regulations, and in general deficiencies in know-how and skills acquisition. Other barriers include constrained managerial capabilities, difficulty in utilizing technology which results in low productivity among others. Consequently, investing in innovative behaviors strengthens knowledge of employees and individuals that drive resilience of the organizations to create new products, processes, and new behavior of working that generates improve competitiveness and achievement of necessary goals to shape performance. The problem confronting this research is to determine
Technology innovations for growth of SMES in Nigeria; the role of management.
1.3 Objective of the Study
1 To determine the nature of technology innovation in SMES
2 To determine the role of management in technology innovation
1.4 Research Questions
1What is the nature of technology innovation in SMES
2 What is the role of management in technology innovations?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study shall proffer a framework for the management of technology innovations for the growth of SMES in Nigeria.
1.6 Statement of Hypothesis
1 Ho The level of growth of SMES is low
Hi The level of growth of SMES is high
2 Ho Technology innovations in SMES in Nigeria is Low
Hi Technology innovation in SMES in Nigeria is high
3 Ho The impact of Technology innovations on SMES growth is low
Hi The impact of Technology innovations on SMES growth is high
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study proffers an appraisal of Technology innovation for growth of SMES in Nigeria and the role of management.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Innovations are a broad category, relative to the current knowledge of the analyzed unit. Any idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption could be considered an innovation available for study.
Adopters are the minimal unit of analysis. In most studies, adopters are individuals, but can also be organizations (businesses, schools, hospitals, etc.), clusters within social networks, or countries.
Diffusion, by definition, takes place among people or organizations. Communication channels allow the transfer of information from one unit to the other. Communication patterns or capabilities must be established between parties as a minimum for diffusion to occur.
The passage of time is necessary for innovations to be adopted; they are rarely adopted instantaneously. In fact, in the Ryan and Gross (1943) study on hybrid corn adoption, adoption occurred over more than ten years, and most farmers only dedicated a fraction on their fields to the new corn in the first years after adoption.
The social system is the combination of external influences (mass media, organizational or governmental mandates) and internal influences (strong and weak social relationships, distance from opinion leaders). There are many roles in a social system, and their combination represents the total influences on a potential adopter.[20.