Title: Productive cooperation network as a competitive advantage for small and medium firms in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo

Authors: Joao Amato Neto

Addresses: University of Sao Paulo – Polytechnic School, Av. Prof. Almeida Prado, trav. 2 No. 128 – Room: FG211 CEP: 05508–070, Cidade Universitaria, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Abstract: Within the greater productive decentralisation tendency, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are faced with a new economic context, which offers many opportunities for their development. The emergence of the flexible specialisation paradigm offers new business opportunities for SMEs, mainly in terms of productive cooperation networks. However, besides the traditional requirements, the possibilities of creating and the success factors for setting up productive cooperation network structure depends on a number of cultural requirements. This article|s purpose is to discuss opportunities and barriers related to creation and development of productive cooperation networks among SMEs, under the industrial restructuring context, and to analyse some particular aspects of the Brazilian context, especially in the state of Sao Paulo. Besides, the intention is to point out some possible ways to improve an organisation|s performance supported by this new kind of interfirm arrangement, through the concept of regional clusters, and finally, to propose some public policies.

Keywords: cooperation; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; cultural barriers; regional clusters; Brazil; cooperative networks; opportunities; industrial restructuring; public policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2008.016593

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2008 Vol.5 No.2, pp.201 - 211

Published online: 11 Jan 2008 *

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