Title: Small firms, new technologies and human resources requirements in Chile

Authors: Marco Dini, Martine Guerguil

Addresses: United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC). ' United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC)

Abstract: What is the effective impact of the recent wave of technological change on small firms in traditional industries? An empirical survey of small knitwear producers in Chile shows that technological change tends to concentrate heavily on machinery upgrading, while the diffusion of new organizational techniques is lagging. Overall, new technologies seem to have little impact on the skills requirements or training activities of small firms; however, they seem to contribute to a stricter task distribution within the firm, instead of the flatter organizational structure now heralded as |best practice| for modernizing enterprises. This specificity of the impact of technical change in small firms is important for public policy, and should be considered in the design of appropriate actions in the areas of education and training, technical assistance and institutional support.

Keywords: schooling requirements; skills requirements; small firms; technological change; traditional industries; training; knitwear producers; Chile; public policy; technical assistance; institutional support; organisational structure; new technologies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1994.025584

International Journal of Technology Management, 1994 Vol.9 No.3/4, pp.440 - 463

Available online: 23 May 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article