Internacionalizacion y Sistema Nacional de Innovacion argentino: una perspectiva de tramas productivas. Los casos automotriz y siderurgico
[Internationlization and argentinean National System of Innovation: a production network perspective. The automotive and iron and steel cases]
In recent decades the highlighted characteristics of the economic and techno-productive context involves an increasing degree of internationalization: a large expansion of international trade flows, capital, technology and information, greater interconnection between socio-institutional and production systems of nations, and an important transnationalization of the major economic actors. In this context, the Thesis inquires into the relevance of the domestic sources of knowledge for the innovative performance of firms that perform in internationalized production activities in an emerging economy, such as Argentina. Addressing this problem involves asking about the way in which the internationalization of production affects the National System of Innovation (NSI). More precisely, we wonder about its ability to affect the innovative performance of firms in internationalized production activities in a developing economy. In fact, a recurrent issue in the NSI’s literature is the way which the national dimension of the Systems of Innovation (SI) is affected by the phenomenon of internationalization of production and, within this problem and in this context, the relative relevance of domestic sources of production of knowledge for innovation (Lundvall, 2007, 1992, Johnson 1992, Nelson, 1993; López, 1996; Chudnovsky, 1999; Balzat and Hanusch 2004). The literature that studies the SI’s internationalization has pointed two main conclusions (Carlsson, 2006): first, empirically the growing internationalization of the ISs, and, secondly, the national institutions maintain their importance in supporting innovative activity, even in activities increasingly internationalized. However, this literature focuses mainly on developed countries. Then, the general concern of this paper is if a developing country, like Argentina, which is far from the international technological frontier, the NSI, the national institutions and the domestic sources of generation of knowledge, remain important for the support of innovative activity, or if, on the contrary, its significance is marginal in highly internationalized production activities. The main objective of the Thesis is to study the way in which the National System of Innovation (NSI) affects the innovation capabilities in internationalized production activities from an emerging economy. Particularly, to analyze the importance of the NSI and the relative relevance of the domestic sources of knowledge for the innovative performance of firms that operates in internationalized production activities in an emerging economy, as Argentina. A National System of Innovation approach from a Production Network (PN) perspective is adopted to analyze two internationalized PNs in Argentina: The Automotive (APN), organized around foreign subsidiaries of Multinational Companies (MNCs); and the Iron and Steel (IPN), organized around a domestic MNC’s headquarter. In that sense, a second specific objective is to analyze if the relevance of NSI and the domestic knowledge sources for innovation differs between internationalized PN organized around MNC’s foreing subsidiaries, or around local headquarters. The main idea that guides the research is that the national dimension of the NSI is relevant to the processes of accumulation and generation of knowledge even in internationalized PN. It follows the first hypothesis of the research: it is expected that even in internationalized PNs, the firms that complement their external knowledge with domestic knowledge, will have better innovative performance than those firms with sources of knowledge that remain mainly external and foreign. However, this importance will vary according to the particular characteristics regarding the type of internationalization of each PN. In particular, by of the importance of the tacit dimension of knowledge rooted in the nation, in the internationalized PNs whose cores are local, the importance of the NSI for the generation and accumulation of knowledge of the companies will be higher, respect to the internationalized PNs whose cores are outside the country; which is the second hypothesis of the Thesis. A qualitative and a quantitative analysis were done to deal with these hypotheses. The qualitative analysis involves an historical approach though secondary sources of the internationalization process in both PN, and a structural characterization of each PN at the moment of the data of quantitative analysis (2006). The chapter II presents the historical evolution of Argentina's APN focusing on its internationalization’s process. This analysis tries to emphasize the character that the globalization process acquired in this network from its beginnings, and the relative importance that acquired the domestic and foreign elements in this processes. This will involve analyze the process of development of the production network’s cores, the development of their supply chain, the evolution of the trade, technological and production flows, and the impact of the sectoral policy. The analysis will follow five parts: the first covers the period between 1920 and 1950, characterized by the installation of the firsts assembly plants; the second between 1951 and 1958, when began the domestic production driven by the State; the third between 1959 and 1974, characterized by the domination of the network by foreign automakers; the fourth between 1975 and 1990, where the domestic institutional and macroeconomic instability led to a deep crisis in the network; and finally, the fifth between 1990 and 2006, characterized by the approaching of the local production network to the international technological frontier and its final integration into the global production chain. The chapter ends with a static characterization of the APN at 2006 year. The chapter III presents the historical evolution of the IPN focusing on their internationalization process. The analysis follow to three time periods: the first one covers the period between 1940 and 1975, when the gestation of the core companies was carried on by the state and there existed a public - private articulation, which was fully focused on supplying the domestic market; the second one covers from 1975 to 1990, with the incorporation of private actors as integrated factories, and the start of commercial internationalization through exports; and finally, the third one, from 1990 to 2006, was characterized by the privatization of state-owned companies, and by the productive internationalization -via FDI- to the rest of the world. The chapter ends with a static characterization of the IPN at 2006 year. Chapter IV presents the quantitative analysis. A Multiple Factor and a Cluster Analysis were carried out using data for 163 firms from a specific technological survey. A different innovative performance was identified according to the complementarities of knowledge sources: The best performance is positively related to a certain balance between domestic and foreign sources, although in the IPN case the international linkages are less important. The findings of this empirical paper are confirmatory of the working hypothesis in the following direction: i) the level of internationalization of industrial activities does not reduce nor extinguishes the importance of national sources of knowledge; ii) for those internationalized PNs organized around domestic MNCs’ headquarters, the best innovative performance underlines the relevance of some foreign knowledge sources, as regards PNs organized around foreign subsidiaries. Chapter V summarizes the main conclusions of the Thesis, were the qualitative analysis from chapters II and III adds elements to enlighten and to a better understanding of the quantitative results.
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