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TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS FOR GROWTH OF SMES IN NIGERIA: THE ROLE OF MANAGEMENT

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TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS FOR GROWTH OF SMES IN NIGERIA; THE ROLE OF MANAGEMENT

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

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. 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    Objectives of the Study

i.  To determine the level of growth of SMEs.

ii.  To find out the level of technology innovations in SMES in Nigeria.

iii.  To know the impact of Technology innovations on SMES growth.

1.4    Research Questions

i.  What is the level of growth of SMEs?

ii.  What is the level of technology innovations in SMEs in Nigeria?

iii.  How does technology innovations impact the growth of SMEs?

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  Research Hypothesis

Ho:  There is no significant impact of technology innovations on SMES growth.

Hi:  There is a significant impact of technology innovations on SMES growth.

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

Technology: This is the sum of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation.

Innovation: Innovation in its modern meaning is "a new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method". Innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.

SMEs: Small and medium-sized enterprises or small and medium-sized businesses are businesses whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits. The abbreviation "SME" is used by international organizations such as the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

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