Topics: Technology, Innovation, Technology transfer Pages: 33 (6861 words) Published: December 13, 2014

International Business Research

Vol. 5, No. 1; January 2012

Defining the Concepts of Technology and Technology Transfer: A Literature Analysis
Sazali Abdul Wahab
National Defence University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia Tel: 60-39-051-3060


Raduan Che Rose
National Defence University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia E-mail:
Suzana Idayu Wati Osman
Felda Global Ventures Holdings
Received: July 12, 2011

Accepted: September 22, 2011

Published: January 1, 2012


The primary objective of this paper is to contribute to the existing literature by comprehensively reviewing the development, definitions and concepts of technology and technology transfer based on a literature review conducted on these wide research areas. This review covers various definitions and dimensions of both technology and technology transfer from the early technology concept i.e. from the development of Solow’s (1957) growth model up to Maskus’s (2003) definition and concept of technology and technology transfer. While the term ‘technology’ itself is difficult to interpret, observe or evaluate, as argued by many scholars, this review attempts to provide in-depth discussion and enhance understanding on these concepts from various perspectives, research background and disciplines. This review could shed some dynamic ideas for future researchers to further identify, conceptualize and understand the underlying theories and perspectives which strongly influence the previous, current and future concept of technology transfer.

Keywords: Definitions, Concept, Technology, Technology transfer, Malaysia 1. Introduction
The dynamic nature of technology has contributed to the existence of various definitions and concepts of technology by the previous studies which are related to technology transfer. The discussion on the concept of technology is crucial in getting a clear understanding of the nature of technology and examining what the technology consists of. Past studies have shown that defining the concept of technology is not easy (Reddy and Zhoa, 1990); therefore technology has been defined from different perspectives. Existing studies on technology transfer and international technology transfer have attracted researchers from cross-section of disciplines including organizational management, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, marketing and recently management of technology (Cusumano and Elenkov, 1994; Zhoa and Reisman, 1992). The term ‘technology’ is inherently abstract concept which is difficult to interpret, observe and evaluate (Blomstrom and Kokko, 1998). Regardless of the extensive research done on this subject, many of the literatures are fragmented along different specialties and generally there is no commonly accepted paradigm (Reddy and Zhoa, 1990). Lan and Young (1996) stress that the technology definition is varied according to authors and context of disciplines. Because of this the concepts, variables and measures relevant to the study are different from one study to another (Kumar et. al, 1999). Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to contribute to the existing literature by comprehensively reviewing the development, definitions and concepts of technology and technology transfer.

2. The Definition and Concept of Technology
Past researchers have viewed and defined the term ‘technology’ from many perspectives and this has influenced the research design and results, negotiations around a transfer and government policies in general (Reddy and Zhoa, 1990). Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education


International Business Research

Vol. 5, No. 1; January 2012

Thus, the term technology has been given various definitions by previous literatures. According to Kumar et. al (1999) technology...

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