Patterns of Innovation and Knowledge in Two Ethiopian Informal-Sector Clusters: A Study of the Shiro Meda Handloom-Weavers and Merkato Shoemakers
Keywords:innovation, knowledge-sharing, knowledge appropriation, intellectual property (IP), informal sector, micro and small enterprises (MSEs), clusters, Shiro Meda cluster, Merkato cluster, handloom-weaving, textiles, cotton, shoemaking, footwear, leather, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This article provides findings from a study of innovation and knowledge management practices in two informal-sector micro and small enterprise (MSE) clusters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa: a handloom-weaving cluster and a shoemaking cluster. The activities in these two clusters were studied in order to explore the patterns of innovation in the MSEs, and to identify factors that influence collaboration and the spread of knowledge among the enterprises. The research also explored the enterprises’ knowledge appropriation behaviours and perspectives in relation to their informal-sector innovations, i.e., their orientations towards both informal knowledge appropriation mechanisms and formal tools of intellectual property (IP) protection.
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