The quality of informal sector production : poor quality or quality for the poor
Kabecha, Wanjau Wa (1994) The quality of informal sector production : poor quality or quality for the poor. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1403773~S1
A glance through the voluminous literature on micro-enterprises clearly shows the
existence of robust information on the role, definition and the importance of informal
sector in economic development. The literature however contributes very little to
knowledge on the technological dimension of the sector. Little is known about the
quality of products manufactured in the sector although much has been written on
quality in large scale manufacturing. This research attempts to fill this gap by
exploring the status of quality in micro-enterprises and the factors that contribute to it.
The adopted methodology consisted of producer and consumer surveys. This was
complemented by product tests, and experiments to determine the applicability of
interventions to improve quality. User-based measures of quality formed the basis of
measurement in this research.
The products were found to be of poor quality in that they did not fulfill the task and
non-task attributes that underlie a purchase by a consumer. The low quality was
attributed to inadequate facilities and processes, poor quality materials and a low level
of skills in the sector. Quality may be improved through either changing these inputs or
raising their quality.
The findings revealed a wide range of innovative behaviour by micro-enterpreneurs.
However, the micro-entrepreneurs were found to be perpetuating an imitative model
which inhibits their innovative capability.
Interventions directed at improving products, processes and skills could empower
micro-entrepreneurs through building their self confidence which could in turn
generate fresh innovations.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Informal sector (Economics) -- Quality control|
|Official Date:||October 1994|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||School of Engineering|
|Extent:||xv, 305 leaves|
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