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Title: Ergonomics, technology transfer and developing countries
Authors: Ong, C.-N. 
Issue Date: Jun-1991
Citation: Ong, C.-N. (1991-06). Ergonomics, technology transfer and developing countries. Ergonomics 34 (6) : 799-814. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Raising the quality of working life and increasing output have now become major preoccupations of governments in many developing countries. The usual approach taken by the developing countries towards achieving these goals is through the acquisition of technology from the more industrialized countries. However, a good number of factors need to be considered when introducing new technology of developing countries. They include (1) the infrastructure and economic status of the nation; (2) working conditions; (3) social and cultural differences; and (4) matching of technology and users. Although the same technological principles may apply to both industrialized and developing countries, the practices and problems tend to differ. In this paper, some of the problems faced by developing countries in technology transfer are discussed. Advancement of new technology is acknowledged as an important step towards maximal economic output, with intensive automation replacing human labour. In developing countries, however, any implementation of new technology has to be carefully planned. Introduction of new technology requires technical support. Many developing countries have poor infrastructure and face a shortage of basic facilities. When technology is to be transferred, due account has to be taken of the economic and technical status of the developing countries. With the introduction of new technology, traditional work methods may have to be changed. This evolution may give rise to cultural conflict as the individual has to learn to adapt to his or her new lifestyle and values while at the same time struggling to retain his or her cultural heritage. Ergonomists in developed countries should play a role in advising the manufacturers to pay more attention to some of these issues. They could provide assistance in choosing the appropriate technology to be transferred. Without a basic change of heart in the developed countries, the developing countries may do better to co-operate among themselves and share their own, albeit limited, experience of appropriate technology, despite their cultural diversity. Ergonomics is a discipline being practised in the developed and less-developed countries. Knowledge of ergonomics and its applications are for sharing the world over.
Source Title: Ergonomics
ISSN: 00140139
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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