Title: The dynamics of technological learning inside the latecomer firm: evidence from the capital goods industry in Brazil
Authors: Celso L. Tacla, Paulo N. Figueiredo
Addresses: Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration, Getulio Vargas Foundation (EBAPE/FGV), Praia de Botafogo 190 Room 510, 22250–900 Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil. ' Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration, Getulio Vargas Foundation (EBAPE/FGV), Praia de Botafogo 190 Room 510, 22250–900 Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil
Abstract: This article focuses on the implications of the intra-firm learning processes for the direction and rate of latecomer firm-level technological capability accumulation. This relationship is examined in a capital goods firm – producer of equipment and complete plants for pulp and paper mills – during its lifetime of 24 years. Using a single case study design, this article draws from first-hand empirical evidence gathered through one-year fieldwork. The framework for capability identifies three technological functions: engineering activities and project management, operational processes and practices, and process equipment. The framework for learning identifies four learning processes. These are examined on the basis of four features: variety, intensity, functioning, and interaction. In addition to clarifying how learning processes work within the latecomer firm, this article contributes to providing a concrete notion of the time-frame to materialise the returns, in terms of innovative capability building, expected by managers from their learning efforts over time.
Keywords: technological learning; latecomer firms; innovative capability; capital goods industry; Brazil; organisational learning; industrialising economies; intra-firm learning; pulp and paper industry.
International Journal of Technology Management, 2006 Vol.36 No.1/2/3, pp.62 - 90
Published online: 06 Jun 2006 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article