Technological Capabilities of Brazilian Shipbuilding Suppliers


  • Marcos Primo Universidade Federal de Pernambuco - Brasil
  • Frank DuBois American University, Washington D.C.



technological capabilities, emerging markets, local sourcing, value chains, clusters, shipbuilding industry


Technological capabilities (TC) play a key role in the competitiveness of firms in industrial sectors. Suppliers in emerging economies often acquire technological capabilities by operating and mastering technologies developed by others and then leveraging this learning to develop indigenous technologies. By reviewing research on firm specific technological capabilities, the development of global value chains and industrial clusters in emerging markets we discuss local suppliers’ insertion and upgrading in the supply chains of new large industrial enterprises. Using the Brazilian shipbuilding industry as context, we investigate and develop propositions related to the ability of local suppliers to develop technological capabilities that permit eventual insertion into the local supply chain. This research has applications for managers and policy makers from other emerging market countries seeking to increase local sourcing through development of local suppliers.


Download data is not yet available.


ANDRITSOS, F. and Perez-Prat, J. (2000). The Automation and Integration of Production Processes in Shipbuilding. State-of-the-Art report, Joint Research Centre. European Commission, Europe. [ Links ]

AMORIM, F. Araujo, E.; Serra. T. and Rosental. R. (1995). A Global Evaluation of the Brazilian Shipbuilding Industry. Transactions on the Built Environment. WIT Press, 11. Ashurst, Southampton, England. [ Links ]

ARAÚJO, F. O.; Dalcol, P. R.T. and Longo,W. P. (2011).A Diagnosis of Brazilian Shipbuilding Industry on the Basis of Methodology for an Analysis of Sectorial Systems of Innovation. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp. 151-171. [ Links ]

ARIKAN, A. and Schilling, M. (2011). Structure and Governance in Industrial Districts: Implications for Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management Studies, 48(4), pp. 772- 803. [ Links ]

BALBINOT, Z. (2006). Building technological capabilities in Brazilian Firms through alliances. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Montreal, Canada. [ Links ]

BELL, M. (2007). Technological Learning and the Development of Production and Innovative Capacities in the Industry and Infrastructure Sectors of the Least Developed Countries: What Roles for ODA? UNCTAD The Least Developed Countries Report Background Paper. [ Links ]

BELL, M. and Pavitt, K. (1995). The Development of Technological Capabilities. in Irfan ul Haque, ed., Trade, Technology, and International Competitiveness. EDI Development Studies.The World Bank,Washington, DC. [ Links ]

BERNARDES, R. and Oliveira, L. (2003). Building up complex productive systems in developing countries: the Embraer experience. in Cassiolato, J., Lastres, H., and Maciel, M., Sys- tems of Innovation and Development: Evidence from Brazil. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK. [ Links ]

BIRKLER, J.; Rushworth, D.; Chiesa, J.; Pung, H.; Arena M. and Shank, J.. (2004). Differences Between Military and Commercial Shipbuilding: Implications for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense. Rand Europe, Rand, Santa Monica [ Links ]

BLOUNT, J. (2009). Brazil Sees Subsalt Reviving Shipbuilding. Platts Oilgram News,Vol. 87 (180), September 14, p. 7. [ Links ]

BROWN, J.S. and Duguid, P. (2000). The Social Life of Information, Harvard Business School Press, Cambridge, MA. [ Links ]

CHO, D. S. and Porter, M. (1986). Changing Global Industry Leadership: The Case of Shipbuilding. in Competition in Global Industries, M. Porter ed. Harvard business School Press, pp. 539 -567, Boston. [ Links ]

DUNNING, J. (1988). Explaining International Production. Unwin Hyman, London. [ Links ]

DYER, J. (1996). How Chrysler Created an American Keiretsu. Harvard Business Review, July-August, pp. 2-11. [ Links ]

FAIRPLAY.(2009). Brazil’s Shipbuidling Hopes. Fairplay October 15. [acessed September 15, 2010] [ Links ].

FIGUEIREDO, P. N. (2001). Technological learning and competitive performance. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. [ Links ]

FIGUEIREDO, P. (2007). Industrial Policy Changes and Firm- Level Technological Capability Development: Evidence from Northern Brazil.World Development, 36(1), pp. 55-88. [ Links ]

GEREFFI, G.; Humphrey, J. and Sturgeon, T. (2005). The governance of global value chains, Review of International Political Economy, 12(1), pp. 78–104. [ Links ]

GIULIANI, E.; Pietrobelli, C. and Rabellotti, R. (2005). Upgrading in global value chains: Lessons from Latin America clusters.World Development 33 (4), pp. 549–573. [ Links ]

HELLSTRÖM, M. (2005). Business Concepts Based on Mod- ularity A Clinical Inquiry into the Business of Delivering Projects, Dissertation at Åbo Akademi University, Åbo Akademi University Press. [ Links ]

HUMPHREY, J. and Schmitz, H. (2002). How does insertion in global value chains affect upgrading in industrial clusters? Regional Studies, 36 (9), pp. 1017-1027. [ Links ]

HUMPHREY, J. (2003). Globalisation and Supply Chain Networks: The Auto Industry in Brazil and India’. Global Network, 3(2), pp. 121–41. [ Links ]

JIN, B., (2004). Achieving an optimal global versus domestic sourcing balance under demand uncertainty. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 24(12), pp.1292-1305. [ Links ]

KIM, L. (2000). The Dynamics of Technological learning in Industrialization. The United Nations University, Discussion Paper Series, pp. 1-35. [ Links ]

KIM, G. C. and Takeda, E. (1996). The JIT Philosophy is the Culture in Japan. Production and Inventory Management Journal, 37(1), pp. 47-51. [ Links ]

KISHIMOTO, C. (2004). Clustering and Upgrading in Global Value Chains: the Taiwanese Personal Computer Industry. in Local enterprises in the global economy: issues of governance and upgrading. Schmitz, H, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK. [ Links ]

KOENIG, P. (2002). Technical and economic breakdown of value added in shipbuilding. Journal of Ship Production, 18(1). [ Links ]

Koenig, P.; Narita, H. and Baba, K. (2002). Lean production in the Japanese shipbuilding industry. Journal of Ship Production, 18(3). [ Links ]

KOGUT, B. (1988). Joint Ventures: Theoretical and empirical perspectives, Strategic Management Journal, 9, pp. 319-332. [ Links ]

KOGUT, B. and U. Zander. (2003). Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation. Journal of International Business Studies, 34, pp. 516 – 529. [ Links ]

KOTABE, M. (1992). Global Sourcing Strategy. Quorum, New York. [ Links ]

KUMAR, N. (1996). The Power of Trust in Manufacturer- Retailer Relationships. Harvard Business Review, 74(6), pp. 92-106. [ Links ]

LALL, S. (1992). Technological capabilities and industrialization. Research Policy, 20(2), pp. 165-186. [ Links ]

LALL, S. (2000). National strategies for technology adoption in the industrial sector: Lessons of recent experience in the developing regions. Human Development Report 2001: Harnessing Technology for Human Development, pp. 1-82. [ Links ]

LIKER, J.K. and Choi, T.Y. (2004). Building Deeper Supplier Relationships. Harvard Business Review, December. [ Links ]

LUNSFORD, J. (2007). Jet Blues.The Wall Street Journal, December 7, A1. [ Links ]

MARKHAM, S. and McCart, D. (1995).The road to successful implementation of just-in-time systems. Production and Inventory Management Journal,Vol. 36, 3rd quarter, pp. 67-70. [ Links ]

MCDERMOTT, G. and Corredoira, R. (2010). Network Composition, collaborative ties, and upgrading in emerging- market firms: Lessons from the Argentine Auto parts Sector. Journal of International Business Studies, 41, pp. 308 – 328. [ Links ]

NADVI, K. (2008). Global standards, global governance and the organization of global value chains. Journal of Economic Geography, 8, pp.1–21. [ Links ]

NADVI, K. and Waltrïng, F. (2004). Making sense of Global Standards. In Local enterprises in the global economy: issues of governance and upgrading. Schmitz, H. ed., Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK. [ Links ]

NASSIMBENI, G. (2003). Local manufacturing systems and global economy: are they compatible? The case of the Italian eyewear district. Journal of Operations Management, 21, pp. 151–171. [ Links ]

NIU, K. (2009). The Involvement of Firms in Industrial Clusters: A Conceptual Analysis. International Journal of Management, 26(3), pp. 445-455. [ Links ]

NONAKA, I. and Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company: how Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. Oxford University Press, New York. [ Links ]

PASIN, J. (2002). Indústria Naval do Brasil: Panorama, Desafios e Perspectivas. Revista do BNDES, 9(18), pp. 121-148. [ Links ]

PIETROBELLI, C. (2007). Global Value Chains and Clusters in LDCs: What Prospects for Upgrading and Technological Capabilities, UNCTAD The Least Developed Countries Report 2007 Background Paper. [ Links ]

PIETROBELLI, C. and Rabellotti R. (2004). Upgrading in Clusters and Value Chains in Latin America: The Role of Policies. Sustainable Development Department Best practices series, MSM-124, January. [ Links ]

PORTER, M.E. (1990). The Competitive Advantage of Nations. MacMillan, London. [ Links ]

PORTER, M.E. (2008). Location, Competition and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy. Economic Development Quarterly, 14(1), pp. 15-34. [ Links ]

QUADROS, R. (2004). Global quality standards and technological upgrading in the Brazilian Auto components industry. in Local enterprises in the global economy: issues of governance and upgrading. Schmitz, H, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK. [ Links ]

SATO, Y. and Fujita, M. (2009). Capability matrix: a Framework for Analyzing Capabilities in Value Chains. Institute of Developing Economies: JETRO. IDE Discussion paper #219. [ Links ]

SCHMITZ, H. (1995). Collective efficiency: Growth path for small scale industry. Journal of Development Studies, 31(4), pp. 529-566. [ Links ]

SOHN, E.. Chang, S. and Song, J. (2010). Technological Catching-up and Latecomer Strategy: A Case Study of the Asian Shipbuilding Industry. Seoul Journal of Busines,15(2). [ Links ]

STURGEON, T.; Biesebroeck, J. V. and Gereffi. G. (2008). Value Chains, Networks and Clusters: Reframing the Global Automotive Industry. Journal of Economic Geography, 8, pp. 297-321. [ Links ]

WAD, P. (2008). The Development of Automotive Parts Suppliers in Korea and Malaysia: A Global Value Chain Perspective. Asia Pacific Business Review, 14(1), pp. 47-64. [ Links ]

WENGER, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: learning meaning and identity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. [ Links ]

WILLIAMSON, O. (1975). Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications.The Free Press, New York. [ Links ]

WOMACK, J. and Jones, D. (1996). Beyond Toyota: How to Root Out Waste and Pursue Perfection. Harvard Business Review, September-October, pp.140-158. [ Links ]

WORLDYARDS, (2009). Market Comment, 18 November. Brazilian Shipbuilding in Rejuvenation? [accessed December 9, 2010] [ Links ].




How to Cite

Primo, M., & DuBois, F. (2012). Technological Capabilities of Brazilian Shipbuilding Suppliers. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 7(2), 39–51.



Research Articles