Sources and constraints to technological innovation in Tanzania: a case study of the wood furniture industry in Dar es Salaam.

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the sources and constraints to technological innovation among SMEs focussing on the wood furniture enterprises. The study was carried out in llala, Kinondoni and Temeke districts of Dar es Salaam region. A sample size of fifty-nine (59) respondents participated in this study. Fifty (50) of them consisted of owners of furniture enterprise, and nine (9) furniture users (customers). Both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis were used, whereby questionnaires, unstructured interviews and observation were employed. The study findings reveal that small entrepreneurs in furniture making have some capabilities of adopting innovation from outside their firms and make changes in-house. They reached an incremental innovation in making quality furniture, while adopting design and size of furniture. However, they seem to be less innovative in production techniques, work organization, and marketing strategies. To effect the changes, they rely on a number of sources such as customers, photographs, competitors, catalogues and brochures, and imported furniture. Ability to innovate is being constrained by various factors such as insufficient and outdated equipment, inadequate technical expertise, high cost of timber, and threat from imported furniture. Yet, others include shortages and inconsistency of orders from customers, and high cost of marketing strategies. All these factors are largely contributed by limited capital most small enterprises are faced with. In order to respond effectively to these constraints to technological innovation and make the furniture industry more competitive, the government should facilitate small entrepreneurs to acquire various machines and technical expertise. In addition, the government should teach people to value locally made furniture so as to expand market for local enterprises.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HC79.T4T34M87)
Technological innovations, Word furniture industry, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Mutambala, M. (2011). Sources and constraints to technological innovation in Tanzania: a case study of the wood furniture industry in Dar es Salaam. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.