Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Management & Enterprise

First Advisor

Dr. Breda Kenny


This study explores the origins of the Electronics/ Software industrial sector in the Republic of Ireland and its subsequent development from 1960 to 2010 inclusive. A key focus of the study is to identify and explore the sectoral drivers/inhibitors. The influence of government policy and technical education on this development is explored. This research study was sponsored by the Irish American Partnership.

A critical realist philosophical approach is chosen to deal with the time-frame and the subject area breadth. An evolutionary research design process is used. An ongoing literature review and access to historical documentation provides other contextual data. Roadmapping is the chosen framework to deal with the complexity of the inter-related time- series for government policy, education and the industrial sector development. Empirical evidence in the form of fifteen semi-structured interviews was gathered, spanning the areas of government policy, technical education and the industrial sector itself.

Empirical findings are reviewed in light of the theoretical framework as well as the historical and archival sources. In addition to the industrial sector exploration, this research identifies management/social trends with implications for the sector - currently called the ICT sector. Conclusions and recommendations for government policy, technical education and the ICT sector are provided. This research is unique in tackling the development of a relevant industrial sector over a fifty year time frame and in using road-mapping in an historical study.

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