The Nexus of Knowledge Sharing and Innovations in the Informal Sector: The Case of Otigba Hardware Cluster in Nigeria

  • Emmanuel M. Ogunjemilua
  • Billy A. Oluwale
  • Oluseye O. Jegede
  • Blessing F. Ajao
Part of the Palgrave Studies of Internationalization in Emerging Markets book series (PSIEM)


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of knowledge sharing on innovations in the Otigba cluster in Nigeria. The cluster was purposively selected due to high-tech business activities ongoing in the cluster. Trained research assistants with constant monitoring and evaluation administered two hundred questionnaire on the selected knowledge-based enterprises in the cluster and such questionnaire were answered by the owner or experienced personnel in the cluster. The study reveals that Otigba cluster is dominated by micro firms and encourages knowledge sharing, internal training programme and did not give preference to the experienced employees while hiring them. The employees in the cluster had both formal and informal forms of learning and task were allotted to them with close supervision. Adoptive innovation is prominent in the cluster. The innovation types of firms that shared knowledge and those that did not share knowledge is the same in the cluster. Contrarily, the innovation types of firms that encouraged employee daily task rotation, internal training programmes, and preference for hiring employees with relevant work experience is significantly different in the cluster. The implication of the study is that firms should create knowledge-sharing platforms (daily task rotation, internal training, and preference for hiring employees with relevant experience) and beckon on agglomeration benefits such as knowledge spillover due to their proximity, cost reduction, cartel and same innovation activities among others. Also, government should enact, monitor and evaluate policy that will encourage clustering or maker space so as to encourage knowledge sharing and openness of activities in Nigerian technology clusters.



This work was carried out by the Open African Innovation Research network, in partnership with University of Johannesburg, University of Cape Town, the University of Ottawa (Canada), American University in Cairo (Egypt), Strathmore University (Kenya), the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (Nigeria) and Tshwane University of Technology (South Africa). This work was carried out with financial support from the UK Government’s Department for International Development, the International Development Research Centre, Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The views expressed in this work are those of the creators and do not necessarily represent those of the research funders.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanuel M. Ogunjemilua
    • 1
  • Billy A. Oluwale
    • 1
  • Oluseye O. Jegede
    • 2
  • Blessing F. Ajao
    • 3
  1. 1.African Institute for Science Policy and InnovationObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  2. 2.Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation IndicatorsHuman Science Research CouncilCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.National Centre for Technology ManagementIle-IfeNigeria

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