Inderscience Publishers

Triggers of the technological capability accumulation in MNCs' subsidiaries: the maquilas in Mexico

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Subsidiaries of MNCs oriented towards assembling activities in developing countries gradually accumulate technological capabilities. This is not necessarily the result of a deliberate strategy to build up decentralised capabilities, but an outcome of the learning processes at the plant level. This accumulation generates pressure on the headquarters to acknowledge the achievements and allows plants to carry out activities of higher innovativeness. This paper draws on the analytical framework of technological capability accumulation to examine three cases of subsidiaries of MNCs in Mexico that operate under the maquila regime, and discusses two triggers of the local accumulation process.

Keywords: technological capabilities, developing countries, multinational corporations, MNCs, subsidiaries, maquilas, Mexico, globalisation

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