Small Manufacturing Enterprises (SMEs) contribute to economic dynamism, entrepreneurship and have potentials to contribute to sustainable industrial development in less developed countries (LDCs). They are however handicapped since they lack the capacity to develop infrastructure and acquire technologies that give them a competitive advantage in the global market. This paper explores collective efficiency as a paradigm that could inform technology development in LDCs to enhance SMEs growth. Data was obtained from wood based enterprises owner/managers (284) who were sampled from three districts Kericho, Nakuru and Uasin Gishu all in the Rift valley province of Kenya using multistage sampling strategy. Data was collected by use of questionnaires, observation and documentary analysis. Using regression analysis the study found the relationship between collective efficiency and technology development in wood based enterprises to be logarithmic. This revealed that the rate of change in technology development is higher with higher levels of joint actions up to a certain maximum point when further joint actions do not benefit the wood based enterprise. These findings demonstrate the need for a paradigm shift in the support of SMEs sector in order to sustain industrial development. The use of collective efficiency paradigm in the planning and development of infrastructure that anchors technology development for the SMEs is recommended.
Key words: Wood based enterprises, collective efficiency, technology development, small manufacturing enterprises.
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