Technology Development in Road Infrastructure: The Relevance of Government Championing Behavior
Technovation, Vol. 31, Nos. 5 & 6, pp. 270-283, May-June 2011
Posted: 28 Feb 2012
Date Written: 2011
Low-technology industries are largely neglected in technology management literature. Yet, recent studies show the crucial importance of innovation in low-technology industries. In this study, we analyze technology development projects in a specific low-technology industry, road infrastructure, being a major sector and an important contributor to both GDP and employment. We focus on the effect of government behavior on technology development projects in road infrastructure. In road infrastructure, government plays an important role as a buyer and first user of technology. Based on the business strategy literature and literature on technology policy, we test the relative importance of a firm's strategy and government behavior in this low-technology industry. Specifically, we build and empirically test a conceptual model in which government behaviors (technology championship and procurement policy) and strategic orientation (internal/cost orientation and innovation orientation) are antecedents to project performance, which is assessed in terms of performance relative to budget, quality, and time objectives, and also in terms of benefits to customers. Our empirical findings stress the value of government championing behavior and show that this behavior is more important than innovative procurement policies. The results even suggest that government championship is more important than a firm's strategic orientation.
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