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Cultivating Technological Innovation for Development

By Stephen Corea


This paper essays the viewpoint that the development or innovation in society of technologies, such as information and communication technologies, should be self-cultivated rather than imported. Ideas are drawn from multiple research disciplines to inform the elaboration of this perspective. A behavioral notion of development, based on the notion of structural conditioning of behaviors of social units, is discussed and adopted. Concepts of change from cybernetic theory are then delineated, to be used analogously later on for illustrating behavioral aspects of technology adoption and societal development. Subsequently, current theoretical formulations in the economic literature on technological change are reviewed, to muster key insights for furthering an understanding of the behavioral notion of development. The paper then recruits principles and ideas from current developments in sociotechnical systems (STS) theory. The applicability of these ideas for promoting understanding of macro-phenomena in national development systems is discussed. Finally, the paper integrates these various strands of theoretical formulations into the assertion that it is more important to invest in the cultivation of the patterns of behavior that underpin the various technological innovations of modernization than it is to invest in the pervasive uptake of information and communication technologies. 1

Year: 2011
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