Understanding the innovativeness of information technology products and service providers in an IT cluster in Nigeria

William Nwagwu, Stanley Ibeku


Every society has social and other systems that encourage and promote, or otherwise, individuals to engage in creative processes and/or support new ideas and experimentation that may result in new products, services or technological processes. This study examined how the most popular innovation variables provide explanation for the capacity of information technology (IT) products and service providers in the Otigba Computer Hardware Cluster in Lagos, Nigeria to devise and harness new strategies of solving IT problems. The study also investigated the respondents’ capacity to acquire, assimilate, transform and use knowledge, and the relationship between these capacities and their innovativeness. Data were collected from 273 respondents with the aid of a questionnaire and an indepth interview schedule. The study confirms the importance of stronger networking for transfer of knowledge by showing that the respondents’ interaction with knowledge sources has strong relationship with their capacity to innovate, acquire, understand and use knowledge. However, innovativeness among the operators in the cluster is not necessarily a function of the traditional innovation variables of absorptive, acquisition, transformation, exploitation and other capacities. The capacity to transform knowledge into applications has a significant effect on the capacity of the operators to introduce new ideas, processes and techniques. Findings from the interviews reveal that the information technology products and service providers are able to devise new ways of solving old and new IT problems, especially as they relate to computer hardware. Research on innovativeness among operators in this cluster must seek explanation from local circumstances in addition to the popular recognised variables


Innovativeness; Information Technology; IT Cluster; Nigeria

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/82-1-1598


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