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Innovation network and technological capability development in the Thai SME sector : The case of the Thai dessert industry

Yokakul, Nattaka and Zawdie, Girma (2010) Innovation network and technological capability development in the Thai SME sector : The case of the Thai dessert industry. International Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development, 9 (1). pp. 19-36. ISSN 1474-2748

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Abstract

This article looks into the triple helix system as a basis for promoting technology and innovation in the Thai small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, with particular reference to the Thai dessert industry. The article draws on the significance of networking and social capital development for cultivating the indigenous knowledge base of the Thai dessert industry with the aim to improve prospects for technological capability development and long-term growth of firms in the industry. Best practice cases in knowledge acquisition and use are discussed in the context of network development, innovation and technology improvement in three cases of community based business. Network facilitators or leaders play a crucial role in promoting the development of entrepreneurship and social capital in the community. They act as ‘gatekeepers’, acquiring knowledge from outside the community and making it accessible for members to use and engage in knowledge sharing and exchange. The aim is to build a culture of trust to stimulate interactive learning, creativity and innovation within the evolving social network.