International Technology Transfer and its Implications to Dominant Design Theory

Philosophy of Science and Meta-Knowledge in International Business and Management

ISBN: 978-1-78190-712-2, eISBN: 978-1-78190-713-9

ISSN: 1571-5027

Publication date: 30 May 2013


In international business international technology transfer is an important part. It involves several modes. Product or process technologies can be transferred to a host country within a multinational company. Other modes include sale or licensing of technology. In these cases a company other than the technology owner takes technology to a host country. International technology transfer involves many matters such as transfer mode, government trade policies, risk of losing technology and influence of industry associations. In this chapter I report a longitudinal case study (1950–1980) of the diffusion of new manufacturing technology, suspension preheating, within the U.S. cement industry. Here I employ concepts from the literature on international technology transfer. Based on this analysis I identify what impact international technology transfer literature has on dominant design theory. Here I address in more detail the era of ferment of the most recent technology adoption (that is innovation).The U.S. cement industry was included in the original development of the dominant design model. However, technology adoption or innovation was defined as the first commercial introduction of a product made by a new manufacturing technology or process in the United States. This domestic definition of technology adoption neglects all aspects of international technology transfer mentioned earlier.While comparing the results of these two studies of the U.S. cement industry I found differences in the adoption time of technology and inconsistence in the introduction of the technology in the United States. I found that the length of the era of ferment was 29 years – contrary to the seven years reported in the development of dominant design model. This time difference has naturally impacted on the analysis of diffusion. It seems that the international business and international technology transfer literature have impacted on the dominant design model and theory.


Uusitalo, O. (2013), "International Technology Transfer and its Implications to Dominant Design Theory", Devinney, T., Pedersen, T. and Tihanyi, L. (Ed.) Philosophy of Science and Meta-Knowledge in International Business and Management (Advances in International Management, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 435-467.

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