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Latent processes in
project implementation

Technology transfer


There is no body of research on technology transfer that would not have been shown as severely incomplete.  “Technology can not be exported, it can only be imported” and similar insights are well known.  I believe progress is made when Science and Technology Studies (STS), Actor-network Theory and sociology of knowledge (Bijker, MacKenzie, Latour or Law) move beyond extensive case studies as Martin Fransman demands: “A unified theory of the firm uses the same concepts to describe the interior and the exterior of the firm, these are knowledge, belief and information”

I suggest an analytical framework based on the required intention from knowledge provider and from receiver separately for the explicit and the tacit components (here for water supply infrastructure), in other words the 'who' questions take precedence over the 'what' questions:

Knowledge Management in Development and Infrastructure Projects

A more general formulation of this analytical framework for wider application and a laundry list of possible results, findings, research design and policy contexts:

International Technology Cooperation

My preferred tasks for technology transfer:

  • find relevant case material for the involved or similar firms

  • select tacit, explicit, embodied and disembodied knowledge criteria

  • extract evidence and re-define criteria during an ongoing project


Fransman M. 1995, Japan’s computer and communications industry: the evolution of industrial giants and global competitiveness, Oxford UP.

Thomas Grammig



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