Keywords: technological learning, technological capabilities, organisational culture, latecomer firms, developing countries, industrialising economies, brewery industry, Mexico, organisational change, technology management
Firms' culture and technological behaviour: the case of two breweries in Mexico
This paper addresses two related issues seldom explored in the literature on learning and technological capability accumulation in developing countries: first, whether and how firms' learning and accumulation processes change in response to radical modifications in the context; second, how differently firms respond to such changes, with special emphasis on the role played by the firms' culture in the variability of responses. This study is based on detailed case studies of two internationally competing Mexican breweries. The cases reconstruct the lifetime process of learning and technological accumulation of the case-study firms, emphasising strategies, processes and mechanisms. They reveal the way in which the firms' culture shaped learning processes and created rigidities in the firms' responses to changes. The results show that early experiences of the firms and deeply ingrained assumptions underlying the firms' culture are a major factor for explaining the variability of the firms' learning responses to changes in the context.