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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information

'A social constructivist understanding of technology transfer in project-based settings'  Dr Kwadwo Oti-Sarpong

Despite the use of projects as vehicles for international technology transfer for over five decades, the results have been rather underwhelming. The consistent failure to produce the desired outcomes highlights a simplistic and inaccurate view of technology and its transfer that also fails to incorporate the practical complexity of the process in project settings. Using the social construction of technology lens, this paper contributes a complementary understanding of what occurs in a project-based attempt to transfer technology by focusing upon the nature of technology, the roles actors play, social artefacts, and the wider context.

Focusing upon the case of the development of a new monolithic formwork technology on a mass housing project in Ghana, the analysis shows how introducing new technology can have far-reaching implications for the management of projects in terms of shaping project routines, production techniques, and end-deliverables. Consequently, the need for closer examination of the conceptual misnomer of technology transfer in project settings is highlighted, and the managerial implications are identified.

Thursday, 21 April, 2022 - 13:00 to 14:00
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