Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Procesos de aprendizaje y de acumulación de conocimiento en las empresas autopartistas argentinas

Motta, Jorge and Morero, Hernán and LLinás, Irene (2007): Procesos de aprendizaje y de acumulación de conocimiento en las empresas autopartistas argentinas.

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From the early 1990, there is a process of modernization of the automotive industry in Argentina that modifies both the required skills and methods of learning processes in the automakers and auto parts suppliers. The local automakers permanently cease its efforts to launch new models using the adaptive design procedure on the basis of models discontinued in developed countries and begin to introduce models of cars from the latest technology completely designed and developed in the laboratories of their headquarters. This modernization process was accompanied and underpinned by a sharp decline in the national minimum required components for the automobile to be considered as national. Thus, the automakers had large margins of freedom to replace with foreign suppliers by increasing the local supply is not suited to their demands in terms of design, technological complexity, quality, price, etc.. In this context, the ability to design and adaptation of products - it was a very important competitive asset for auto parts companies until the early 1980 - was no longer relevant. The companies failed to design the products they made, and went on to produce goods according to the plans of the automakers. They did not allow local suppliers to make changes, however small these were. In return, the need to reduce costs, improve quality and reduce delivery times to avoid being displaced by internal or external competition, pressure generated hitherto unknown in the auto parts producers to make more efficient production processes and change their traditional organizational forms, it they required the completion of a major effort which appealed to both external sources of knowledge as cumulative competence within the companies themselves In addition, the nineties were characterized by entry into the country of major international auto parts, through direct investment or joint ventures with domestic firms. As a result of these changes in the automotive and auto parts increased the importance of technology transfer from abroad as a source of knowledge for productive modernization. This scenario is extended, albeit with some changes to the current decade. On the one hand, the automotive industry crisis that manifested itself in all its harshness in 2001 and 2002 sharply reduced production volumes as auto parts companies had to adapt its structure to the new situation. Success in this task was strongly related to the existence of internal powers to enable them to cut costs, reduce production scales, introducing new products, find new customers, etc. Companies were not able to implement these changes, a situation that included several subsidiaries of major international companies, had to leave the market. For its part, the new macroeconomic scenario in the country installed after the 2002 devaluation led to renewed interest in the terminals to increase the degree of national integration, vehicle manufacturing, opening up new possibilities and new demands for local producers. They also began to develop some experience, but emerging patterns of delegation and participation of local auto parts makers in international design projects. Framed in this picture, the overall objective of this work is to investigate in an exploratory way, sources and forms of learning and the accumulation of productive knowledge of auto parts companies in Argentina. The paper is structured as follows. The section II describes the theoretical framework underlying the analysis and presents the hypotheses guiding the research. Section III mentions the sources of information used, and the next section describes the behavior of firms in relation to the analysis of key variables, namely: technical assistance or technology transfer, internal and external efforts made to enable or facilitate the introduction of innovations, the level of endogenous capabilities and innovative performance. Section V presents the main results of the analysis, that shows 5 groups that differ according to the characteristics of firms that adopt the processes of learning and knowledge accumulation and the related innovation performance. Finally, we present the main conclusions.

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