Cooperation, interaction and learning in local production systems: Evidence in Brazilian firms.


Marcelo Seido Nagano*, Antonio Iacono and Edmundo Escrivao Filho

In a local production system (LPS), besides external economies, the interaction, cooperation, and learning are indicated by the literature as complementary ways of enhancing the LPS’s competitiveness and gains. In Brazil, the greater part of LPSs, mostly composed by small enterprises, displays incipient relationships and low levels of interaction and cooperation among their actors. The size of the participating enterprises itself for specificities that engender organizational constraints, which, in turn, can have a considerable impact on their relationships and learning dynamics. For that reason, it is the purpose of this article to present an analysis of interaction, cooperation, and learning relationships among several types of actors pertaining to an LPS in the farming equipment and machinery sector, bearing in mind the specificities of small enterprises. To this end, the fieldwork carried out in this study aimed at: (i) investigating external and internal knowledge sources conducive to learning and (ii) identifying and analyzing motivating and inhibiting factors related to specificities of small enterprises in order to bring the LPS members closer together and increase their cooperation and interaction. Empirical evidence shows that internal aspects of the enterprises, related to management and infrastructure, can have a strong bearing on their joint actions, interaction and learning processes.

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