Firms’ Creative Capabilities, the Supporting Innovation System and Globalization in Southern Latin America: A Bleak Technological Outlook or a Myopic Standpoint? Evidence from a Developing Region in Brazil
AbstractThis paper examines empirical evidence of the technological capabilities of firms in the industrial pole of Manaus, in a developing area of northern Brazil. It also investigates the links these firms have with supporting organizations of the innovation system such as universities, research institutes or business incubators. Firms’ capabilities are classified by type and level of development, and we also identify the nature of the links between them and the supporting organizations. The paper draws on a sample of 75 organizations from Manaus: 46 firms (in two sectors: electro-electronics and motorcycle and bicycle industries, and their major suppliers) and 29 research-oriented support organizations. The evidence was collected through extensive fieldwork at both the industry- and firm-level as well as from first-hand accounts. From the study we find that all the sampled firms have progressed beyond basic operational capabilities. At the time of the fieldwork, several firms possessed a high level of innovative capabilities in diverse technological functions. Many of these firms have actively established a variety of informal, human resource-based and even research-based links with innovation supporting organizations. These findings oppose prevailing generalizations and assumptions that, as a consequence of globalization and outward-looking industrialization regimes, firms in southern Latin American economies lack technological capabilities. Furthermore our evidence does not support the view that there is a prevailing weakness in the innovation system in this region. Although this study does not explicitly examine technological development over time, we believe it offers an alternative (and more optimistic) view of the industrial reality in this developing area of Brazil. This view, which differs from existing conventional (and myopic) standpoints, could potentially support the design of more realistic industrial strategies.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United Nations University, Institute for New Technologies in its series Discussion Papers with number 04.
Date of creation: 2005
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Web page: http://www.intech.unu.edu
Firm-level capabilities; technological capabilities; innovation systems; globalization; Latin America.;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2005-09-29 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-INO-2005-09-29 (Innovation)
- NEP-TID-2005-09-29 (Technology & Industrial Dynamics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lall, Sanjaya, 1992. "Technological capabilities and industrialization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 165-186, February.
- Anthony Arundel & Aldo Geuna, 2001. "Does Proximity Matter for Knowledge Transfer from Public Institutes and Universities to Firms?," SPRU Working Paper Series 73, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
- Mario Cimoli & Jorge Katz, 2003. "Structural reforms, technological gaps and economic development: a Latin American perspective," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 387-411, April.
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