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International technology transfer: evidence on foreign direct investment in Albania

Mamica Skenderi Konstandina and Geoffrey Gatharia Gachino

Journal of Economic Studies, 2020, vol. 47, issue 2, 286-306

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the presumed role played by foreign direct investment (FDI) in transferring technology from home country into a host country. This paper uses data from Albanian manufacturing industry; first, to examine whether foreign presence results in technology transfer and, if yes, what type of technology is more prevalent and to what extent? Second, the paper attempts to investigate the purported determinants of technology transfer. Design/methodology/approach - The paper uses two main methodological approaches; first, the technology transfer was determined using an arithmetic index developed using simple arithmetic average. This index is determined using all the industries and taking six key components of technology into consideration. They included: products; production processes; technology and innovation; supplier and customers system; human resource management, training and reporting system; financial management, marketing and organizational structure. Second, assuming a limited dependent relationship between the variables and the technology transfer, a Tobit technique was proposed to examine the significant determinants of technology transfer. Technology transfer was proxied by the technology transfer index developed. Findings - The results clearly demonstrate that FDI plays an important role in technology transfer and that notwithstanding the industrialization of Albania. As per the technology transfer index developed, product-related technology transfer ranked highest followed by the process-related technology. The Tobit results generated indicated that firm age, performance, absorptive capacity, labor mobility, innovation, demonstration effect and systematic support were all key determinants of technology transfer. Surprisingly, size of the firm did not seem to matter. Research limitations/implications - The results have possible managerial and policy ramifications. First, the government should continue to provide basic infrastructure. Second, the government needs to formulate policies focused on human capital accumulation. Third, policies should be focused on firm learning and innovation in order to build technological and absorptive capabilities. Moreover, there should be increased effort to facilitate and encourage R&D. Fourth, the government should coordinate and support the institutions especially those that play a crucial role in industrial investment promotion. Fifth, the government should encourage systemic interactions among different entities. Sixth, since high competition from foreign firms can crowd out domestic investment, strategic measures to regulate such competition should be enacted. Originality/value - The novelty in this paper is the broad conceptualization of technology transfer to include not only the direct but also the indirect mode of technology transfer, which often takes place in the form of spillovers. The physical technology transfer, as well as, its actual impact in the economy is examined to ascertain that technology transfer indeed takes place. The analytical framework adopted overlaps international business, technology transfer and technological innovation literature strands to examine the holistic process of technology transfer.

Keywords: Innovation; Technology transfer; Albania; Foreign direct investment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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