Knowledge Transfer and Innovation in Brazilian Multinational Companies


  • Alisson Eduardo Maehler Professor at Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Carla Maria Marques Curado ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Technical University of Lisbon
  • Eugênio Ávila Pedrozo School of Management, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • José Pedro Pires Master Student at School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University



Knowledge, innovation, customer intelligence, multinational companies, subsidiaries


The article analyzes how innovation generation occurs in subsidiaries of Brazilian multinational corporations acting in Portugal, specifically the role of customers in the process and the knowledge dynamics. A multiple case study approach was conducted in four subsidiaries operating in the Portuguese market for at least one year. Firms came from different activity sectors and sizes. Results identify permanent knowledge exchange flows between subsidiaries and headquarters, while the largest pour is from the later ones (in Brazil) to their wings in Portugal. There are frequent innovations taking place in Portuguese subsidiaries. Such innovation processes are typically incremental in nature and occur predominantly in only some areas of the organization, where greater specialization and expertise are located. The most relevant results regard the existing strong interaction between subsidiaries and markets, especially with the larger customers that contribute with suggestions and are able to influence the new products creation in the subsidiaries.


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Author Biographies

Alisson Eduardo Maehler, Professor at Universidade Federal de Pelotas

B.A. in Management (UFPel, 2003); MBA in Management (UFSM, 2004); PhD. candidate at UFRGS (since 2008, visiting schoolar at Technical University of Lisbon, 2010). Full professor of management at UFPel

Carla Maria Marques Curado, ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Technical University of Lisbon

PhD in Management from School of Economics and ManagementTechnical University of Lisbon and Full professor at the same university.


Eugênio Ávila Pedrozo, School of Management, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

PhD in Management, Institute National Polytechnique de Lorraine (France), Full Professor of Management in School of Management, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. 

José Pedro Pires, Master Student at School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University

B.A. in Management from ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Technical University of Lisbon;

MSc in Management from ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Technical University of Lisbon;

Master Student at School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University


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How to Cite

Maehler, A. E., Curado, C. M. M., Pedrozo, E. Ávila, & Pires, J. P. (2011). Knowledge Transfer and Innovation in Brazilian Multinational Companies. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 6(4), 1–14.



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