Paulo Figueiredo comprehensively examines how and why latecomer companies differ in the manner and rate at which they accumulate technological capability over time. He focuses on how key features of the underlying learning processes influence the paths of technological capability accumulation and, in turn, the rate of improvement in operational performance.
The author details the various processes and mechanisms by which a company acquires knowledge from external and internal sources, through individuals, and then converts, or fails to convert, it into organisational assets. These different ways of managing technological learning are studied in detail during the lifetime of two of the largest steel companies in Brazil. He goes on to demonstrate that the rates of technological capability-accumulation and operational performance improvement can be accelerated if deliberate and effective efforts are made to improve knowledge acquisition and knowledge conversion processes. Indeed, these efforts are likely to generate significant financial benefits for the company that manages these processes effectively. The author is rigorous in his empirical analysis and adopts an original perspective by concentrating on latecomer firms within a non-industrialised country.
The focus of analysis and the practical approach developed within the book will interest students and scholars of business, technology, innovation, and strategic management, as well as providing a source of reference and information for policymakers and managers in private and state-owned organisations.