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versión impresa ISSN 0103-6513
GARCIA, Renato y MADEIRA, Paula. An evaluation of the dissemination of manufacturing process improvement among small firms in local production systems. Prod. [online]. 2013, vol.23, n.1, pp.20-30. Epub 05-Jun-2012. ISSN 0103-6513. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-65132012005000038.
There is a growing yield in the literature on the main determinants of the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises. One important contribution in this way is the assumption that the clustering of firms can bring them strong benefits, also in terms of productive improvement. Based on these assumptions, this paper aims to exam the main effects of the clustering firms on the manufacturing process upgrading of small firms, by the analysis of the dissemination of manufacturing practices and tools in local systems. To this end, a survey with 42 small footwear producers was carried out at the local system of Franca, Brazil. The study investigated the existence of manufacturing process improvement among these firms and the main sources of information for the dissemination of these tools. The main results show that the clustering firms can stimulate the adoption of new manufacturing management practices, through both deliberate channels of dissemination of new knowledge among firms and the spontaneous ways of information exchange, which are usual in these local production systems. In addition, it was possible to notice that the level of appropriability of these benefits depends on the existence of previous knowledge inside firms, that is, their absorption capacity.
Palabras clave : Small firms; Operations management; Local production systems; Industrial clusters; Productive improvement; APL.