Background to the Problem
Nollywood is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Nigerian economy and reputed to be the third largest film industry in the world (Ekeanyanwu, 2008; Esan, 2008; Uba, 2007; Okoroji, 2006; Onishi, 2002). The largest is United States’ Hollywood and the second is India’s Bollywood. Nollywood achieved this feat in less than 20 years of its existence by virtue of the volume of production and release of films which was highly influenced by audience approval and patronage, cheap production facilities and resources available to a typical movie producer in the Nigerian environment, shorter time frame required to shoot and produce a movie and the application of technology amongst other factors. The industry is also progressively making in-roads into the global market. Nollywood productions are now regular features on Multichoice subscribed stations, BEN TV, HiTV, Sky Channels etc. According to Esan (2008:8), “Since January 2008, Nollywood has a dedicated channel offering 24-hour movies service on Sky digital platform to audiences in the UK and Ireland. There are also a range of websites which support the circulation of Nollywood movies”.
However, In developing firm technological capability, learning is a process where firms create as well as accumulate knowledge, information, experiences and competencies (Karaoz & Albeni, 2005). Technological learning process is a cumulative process where it uses the existing knowledge base attained from documents, organizational routines to improve and make better in performing technology related tasks (Kim, 2001; Karaoz & Albeni, 2005). Learning in firm is a major source of incremental and technical change and is known as learning organization. Through learning, firms accumulate knowledge and later on convert, the knowledge into higher value added technical capability (Lundvall et.al, 2002). The ability to learn enables organization to attain certain technical level and knowledge base, which will be different even among firms of same industries. The distinction on learning capability between developed and developing countries is obvious as explained by the two mainstreams of technological learning studies; the learning capacities in latecomer and the technological frontier. Firms that use technology are identified as latecomers and those that develop the technology are labeled as technology frontiers. The latecomers are mainly from developing countries as compared to those who instead of using technology they developed the technology or the technological frontiers, which belong to advanced nation (Figueiredo, 2002).
Compared to the technological frontiers, the process of capability building in latecomers are much more difficult (Rousseva, 2008). However, it is not possible for the latecomer to catch up with the technology frontiers. Kim(1997) highlighted the importance of technological learning at firm level in Korea since technological learning was one of the important factors for firms in developing countries to catch up with the advanced countries and finally to enable them to attain technological frontier status. Many researchers also agree with the outcome of latecomers learning effort, which enabling them to possess the basic operating and manufacturing capability (Bell, 1984; Lall. 1992; Kim, 1997, Figueiredo, 2001). This outcome differs from the technological frontier group as their learning processes are more in developing innovation capability. The result from latecomers learning effort is aligned with the path of TC acquisition by firms in developing countries which start with attainment of production capabilities and at later stage building capabilities in investment and innovation (Hobday, 1993; Radosevic, 1999) nevertheless, this situation does not promote the latecomers except Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan (Kim, 2001).
The outcomes from the learning process resulting in the attainment of production base or operational capability as compared to higher value added capability such as innovation (Jegathesan et.al, 1997; Ismail, 1999). This was confirmed by a study conducted by Hobday and Rush (2007) that signified TNC subsidiaries in Malaysia and Thailand only acquired manufacturing process skills with limited R&D and New product development capabilities. The finding indicates the importance of technological learning in enhancing upstream capability such as innovation where sources of learning ranging from formal R&D to as simple as tacit experiences from the job in determining successful innovation (Chipika & Wilson, 2006). The significance of technological learning on development of firm technological capability cannot be denied. Learning has improved capabilities of firm in utilizing the technology. Technological capabilities are defined as the skills, technical, managerial or organizational, which, are needed to allow firms to utilize the hardware (equipment) and software (information) technology efficiently. Such capabilities are necessarily firm specific, which is institutional knowledge composed of individual skills and experiences accumulated over time. Capabilities in this sense are not linearly added but containing a synergistic element which arises from interaction between individuals (Lall,1992). It involves local learning to complete the transaction and requires the technology recipient to invest in his ability to absorb the new knowledge (Pack & Westphal, 1986). Embodied elements of technology need to be accompanied by a number of tacit elements, which requires further investment to gather the technological knowledge and develop skills as well as institutional routines. Technological capabilities are skills possessed by firms to enable them to utilize efficiently the hardware and software of the technology and to attain any technological change processes. They are firm specific knowledge that was made of skills and experiences of the organization‟s members that are accomplished over the time (Morrison, Peitrobelli & Rabelloti, 2008). Technology capability, therefore, cannot be described solely on physical equipment, blueprints or patent purchased or even formal skills although these form the receptive base for the acquisition of capabilities. However, capability development means the ability of firm to combines the physical equipment, blueprints or design as an organization. The development of certain level of capabilities is crucial for firm to master the technology. Mastering technology means the ability of firm to use the technology at par or near world best practice level (Lall, 1992).
This paper therefore chronicles the The Assessment of Technological learning and Technological capabilities in Nigerian Film Industry. Part of the reason put forward to justify the phenomenal rise of Nollywood is associated with new communication technologies. This is highlighted in this paper. Furthermore, the global ratings of Nollywood cannot be discussed in isolation of globalization. Globalization in this regard could be seen through the eyes of McLuhan’s (1964) slippery concept of ‘global village’. The concept of a global village sees the entire globe as a community where natural barriers to global cooperation and interdependency relationships that existed before now are wiped out or reduced by the advances in new communication technologies. With this understanding, one begins to appreciate why Nollywood have audiences beyond Nigeria and Africa.
Statement of the Problem
- What kind \types of technologies exist in the Nigerian film industry?
- How many of these technologies have been adopted by producers in the industry?
- What are the technology patterns used or deployed by the industry?
- What is the level of technological capabilities within the industry?
- What is the impact of technological learning and Technological capabilities on the performance of the film?
(* Examples are as follows:
- Profit (ROI)
- Viewer’s acceptability
iii. Movie awards
- Awards nominations)
- To identify the types of technology available in the industry.
- To assess the type of technology that has been adopted by producers in the industry.
- To identify the technological learning patterns adopted in the industry.
- To examine the level of technological capabilities in the film industry.
- To examine the impact of technological learning and Technological capabilities on the performance of the film industry.