Abstract in English:Performance varies. This simple statement conceals many intricacies of strategic management. Because performance varies among individual firms, researchers can explore factors that differentiate these firms and explain why some firms are consistently outperforming others. Because performance varies among industries, researchers can explore structural characteristics of different branches of accounting as a source of explanation. Because performance varies with time, researchers can explore environmental and internal dynamic elements that drive strategic decision-making. In reality, measuring and analyzing performance is a very complicated issue when performance varies simultaneously from firm to firm, from industry to industry and from year to year. The theoretical discussion behind this question is the relative importance of the industrial organization derived approach to strategy versus the resource-based view. This paper analyzes the composition of performance variance of a set of Brazilian firms from 1998 to 2001. The results demonstrate that firm effects are still dominant, with year and industry effects being lower, as previous studies with North American firms have indicated.
Abstract in English:This paper presents an analysis of the technological efforts made by Transnational Corporations(1) (TNCs) affiliates in Brazil. Many studies have indicated that most TNCs concentrate their main technological activities in their home, developed countries. However, empirical investigation has shown TNC affiliates in Brazil have presented a higher profile than local firms in terms of both innovative performance and R&D efforts. This study is an attempt to examine the technological efforts of TNC affiliates in Brazil and their main determinants, considering the recent changes in TNC strategies for global organization of production and technological activities. The study is based on data analysis from 450 firms controlled by foreign capital operating in São Paulo State in 1996. The database was taken from the first PAEP - Pesquisa da Atividade Econômica Paulista -, which comprises not only economic indicators, but also includes an innovation survey based on OECD guidelines. Using multivariate techniques, we have identified distinct strategies of TNCs subsidiaries in regard to technological activities, which reflect different technological effort patterns. In addition, the article reveals that such diversity of technological strategies has been influenced by the size of firms, the industrial sector to which the firm belongs and the nationality of foreign capital, in this order.
Abstract in English:This article presents empirical evidence of stakeholding in the local government context. It is the result of a survey carried out with English Local Authorities in 2001. It outlines the arena in which local government make decisions by pinpointing the relevant stakeholders in the process as well as the amount of power they are perceived to represent by chief executives. The investigation has its theoretical basis in resource dependence and institutional theories, which are commonly used for explaining an organization's behaviour and performance as influenced by its environment. As an empirical contribution, the article proposes a stakeholder map for any kind of local government organizations that will help in identifying strategies for managing stakeholders.
Abstract in English:Learning curves have been studied for a long time. These studies provided strong support to the hypothesis that, as organizations produce more of a product, unit costs of production decrease at a decreasing rate (see Argote, 1999 for a comprehensive review of learning curve studies). But the organizational mechanisms that lead to these results are still underexplored. We know some drivers of learning curves (ADLER; CLARK, 1991; LAPRE et al., 2000), but we still lack a more detailed view of the organizational processes behind those curves. Through an ethnographic study, I bring a comprehensive account of the first year of operations of a new automotive plant, describing what was taking place on in the assembly area during the most relevant shifts of the learning curve. The emphasis is then on how learning occurs in that setting. My analysis suggests that the overall learning curve is in fact the result of an integration process that puts together several individual ongoing learning curves in different areas throughout the organization. In the end, I propose a model to understand the evolution of these learning processes and their supporting organizational mechanisms.
Abstract in English:A common feature of the literature on post-acquisition changes is its dyadic feature, i.e. the emphasis is placed on the actors directly involved in the acquisition, often represented by the acquiree and the acquirer. Accordingly, actors outside the dyad, such as suppliers and buyers, are usually disregarded. There is, however, a relevant exception in this literature. Recently, some Nordic authors have claimed that if actors other than the acquiree and the acquirer are not taken into account, the existing literature may only present a partial view of changes following acquisitions. Consequently, they have suggested that changes following this type of operation can be analysed fruitfully at the network level. Our article adds to the efforts of these scholars to understand post-acquisition changes at a broader level by bringing to the fore two issues that have received scarce attention in the literature: i) nets rather than the network level appears to be the locus where post-acquisition changes beyond the dyad take place; ii) relational power can be regarded as an independent variable in post-acquisition changes beyond the dyad. These arguments are illustrated by three brief case studies of cross-border acquisitions.