Aprendizagem corporativa e acumulação tecnológica: a trajetória de uma empresa de transmissão de energia elétrica no norte do Brasil
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Based on an intra-company standpoint, this article examines the implications of underlying learning processes in the accumulation of technological capability in an electrical energy transmission company in Northern Brazil from 1990 to 2004. The framework for examining the accumulation of technological capability distinguishes between routine (the use or operation of existing technologies and production systems) and innovative capabilities (the innovation of technologies and/or production systems). These capabilities are examined for three technological functions: i) engineering, design and equipment; ii) operation and maintenance; and Hi) operational processes. The framework for technological learning identifies four processes examined in the light of four key characteristics: variety, intensity, functioning and interaction. The study is based on first-hand empirical evidence compiled from extensive field work. The quality of the management of the various learning processes within the company of this case study has contributed to the accumulation of different types of technological capabilities, especially from the early 1990s on. Although the discourse in Brazil on the macro-economic and macro-political levels espouses the importance of technological innovation for industrial growth and development, knowledge about the real process of innovation at a business level is still inadequate. Studies such as this one may therefore contribute to aid and support business and government strategies aimed at accelerating development in key industrial sectors of Brazil's economy.