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Technological learning mechanisms in Nigeria’s technology incubation centre

Caleb Muyiwa Adelowo (National Centre for Technology Management, (Federal Ministry of Science and Technology), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria)
Matthew Olugbenga Ilori (Faculty of Technology, African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)
Willie Owolabi Siyanbola (National Centre for Technology Management, (Federal Ministry of Science and Technology), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria)
Billy A Oluwale (Faculty of Technology, African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Article publication date: 9 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The ability of tenant firms to survive after incubation is dependent on the relevant capabilities they acquired during the incubation process. Several studies have established the critical roles of incubation in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation at local, national and regional levels but the processes and mechanisms of technological learning and the capability building of the tenants has received much less attention. In response to the situation, the purpose of this paper is to assess various technological learning mechanisms through which tenant firms in the incubation system in Nigeria acquired the relevant capabilities (both technological and non-technological) that will sustain them after graduation.

Design/methodology/approach

The information was gathered through a preliminary survey and questionnaires were administered to elicit information from the tenant firms and the incubator managers. Data collected were analysed and presented using descriptive statistics.

Findings

The internal learning mechanisms of the tenant firms were found to be fair as firms possessed good internal capabilities that helped to absorb and adapt foreign technologies to suit their individual production needs and this was demonstrated by the quality of personnel employed by the tenant firms. The study revealed poor interaction between the tenants and knowledge institutions and training programmes and facilities also played significant roles in technological capability acquisition of tenants firms. The main factors that ranked highly and influenced technological learning among the firms included the need for product improvement, the need to increase production, turnover and profit, the need to reduce production costs and compete well after graduation, while the need to enter foreign market and commercialise technology ranked average with regards to success in technological learning.

Research limitations/implications

The results of the study may not be generalised because of limited sample.

Practical implications

The study concluded that the technological learning capabilities of the firms could be better enhanced with adequate training and training facilities, robust linkages with knowledge centres and compliance with incubation regulations.

Originality/value

This study provided information on various technological learning mechanisms through which tenant firms in the incubation system in Nigeria acquire relevant capabilities (technological and non-technological) that sustain them after graduation. The study also contributed to the growing literature on incubation system and entrepreneurship.

Keywords

Citation

Adelowo, C.M., Ilori, M.O., Siyanbola, W.O. and Oluwale, B.A. (2015), "Technological learning mechanisms in Nigeria’s technology incubation centre", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 72-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJEMS-10-2014-0071

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited