Technological Capability: Evidence From Building Companies in a Lean Learning Environment

Ana Augusta F. de Freitas1 & Luiz Fernando M Heineck2

1Professor, Civil Engineering, Estate Univ. of Ceará, Brazil, Phone +55 (85) 31019940, freitas8@terra.com.brProfessor, Civil Engineering, Estate Univ. of Ceará, Brazil, Phone +55 (85) 31019940, freitas8@terra.com.br
2Professor, Civil Engineering, Federal Univ. of Ceará, Brazil, Phone +55 (85) 32670096, heineck@pq.cnpq.br

Abstract

The main purpose of this paper is to understand technological capabilities accumulation associated with lean activities observed in a group of 11 building companies participating in a collaboration schema established among firms with focus on learning - a learning network. These companies have been mastering new managerial concepts as a group for the last 12 years, mainly devoted to learn about and implement lean construction in Fortaleza, a three million population city in the northeast of Brazil. A field survey was conducted in order to identify technological trajectories. Further specific analysis was developed focusing on production management function evolution and lean concepts contribution to knowledge accumulation in this area are highlighted. Results indicate that (1) technological accumulation varies in mode and speed among apparently very similar companies and (2) learning networks might be taken as an appropriate locus for knowledge accumulation provided that building companies decide to take an active role on them. In a word, just to participate in a learning environment does not add to the organization capabilities to improve its production management function. This research work extends theoretical understanding about the impact of learning networks on innovative and productive capability of building companies in developing countries, especially in connection to lean production.

Keywords

Technological capability, learning, alliancing, lean environment, production planning, collaboration

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Reference

Freitas, A.A.F.D. & Heineck, L.F.M. 2012, 'Technological Capability: Evidence From Building Companies in a Lean Learning Environment' In:, Tommelein, I.D. & Pasquire, C.L., 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. San Diego, USA, 18-20 Jul 2012.

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