ChapterPDF Available

Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects

Authors:
COMPETITIVENESS DEVELOPMENT IN
REGIONS, SECTORS AND
INSTITUTIONS
JOSÉ SÁNCHEZ-GUTIÉRREZ
TANIA ELENA GONZÁLEZ-ALVARADO
ELSA GEORGINA GONZÁLEZ-URIBE
ÓSCAR ESPINOZA-MERCADO
COORDINATORS
First edition, 2018
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, José; González-Alvarado, Tania Elena; González-Uribe,
Elsa Georgina; Espinoza-Mercado, Óscar (coordinators). Competitiveness
Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions. México: Universidad de
Guadalajara.
This work is a product of the members of RIICO (Red Internacional de
Investigadores en Competitividad) with external contributions. The
findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this work do not
necessarily reflect the views of Universidad de Guadalajara and RIICO.
All the photos on this book were taken from Unsplash. Unsplash is a
photo discovery platform for free to use, high-definition photos. Unsplash,
Inc., a Canadian corporation) operates the Unsplash website at
unsplash.com (the “Site”) and all related websites, software, mobile apps,
and other services that they provide (together, the “Service”) with the goal
of celebrating and enabling contributors and fostering creativity in their
community.
This work is licensed under a!Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-
ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Cover photo by!Tom Barrett!on!Unsplash
Cover design: González Alvarado Tania Elena
© 2018, Universidad de Guadalajara
Centro Universitario de Ciencias Económico Administrativas
Av. Periférico Norte 799, Edificio G-306
Núcleo Los Belenes
45100 Zapopan, Jalisco, México
ISBN 978-84-17523-15-2
CONTENTS
Prologue…………………………………………………………………… 5
José Sánchez-Gutiérrez
Chapter 1………………………………………………………………….. 7
Knowledge Management and Strategic Vision in Guayaquil
Institutions
Manuel Alfredo Ortiz-Barrera
José Sánchez-Gutiérrez
Guillermo Vázquez-Ávila
Chapter 2…………………………………………………………………. 27
Service Quality Granted by a Marketing Company
Antonio de Jesús Vizcaíno
Luis Fernando Iñiguez-Charles
Adriana León-Luis
Bárbara Pérez-Rocha
Chapter 3…………………………………………………………………. 55
Sustained Competitiveness through Intangible Assets
Jaime Apolinar Martínez-Arroyo
Marco Alberto Valenzo-Jiménez
Angélica Guadalupe Zamudio-de la Cruz
Chapter 4…………………………………………………………………. 79
Management Leadership and Organizational Change in Commercial
SMEs
Luis Alberto Bellon-Álvarez
José de Jesús Urzúa-López
Margarita Isabel Islas-Villanueva
Araceli Durán-Hernández
Chapter 5…………………………………………………………………. 111
Key Factors for Port Competitiveness in Mexican Container Terminals
Dolores Guadalupe Martínez-Peña
Irma Cristina Espitia-Moreno
Óscar Valdemar de la Torre-Torres
Chapter 6…………………………………………………………………. 149
Innovation in Distribution: New Strategies from Large Commercial
Companies
Víctor Manuel Castillo-Girón
Manuel Machuca-Martínez
Suhey Ayala-Ramírez
Chapter 7…………………………………………………………………. 185
The measurement of Regional Competitiveness in Mexico in
comparison with International Level
Emma Frida Galicia-Haro
Ana Lilia Coria-Páez
Irma Cecilia Ortega-Moreno
Chapter 8…………………………………………………………………. 209
Agricultural Competitiveness under a weighted perspective of the
Production Value. Case of Michoacán
Carlos Francisco Ortiz-Paniagua
Zoe T. Infante-Jiménez
Joel Bonales-Valencia
Chapter 9…………………………………………………………………. 235
A test of the performance of type 4 SIEFORES: Do these pay a better
return than all the less risky ones?
Oscar V. de la Torre-Torres
Evaristo Galeana-Figueroa
Dora Aguilasocho-Montoya
Chapter 10 ………………………………………………………………. 253
Asymmetric Collaboration in Mexican IT Companies: causes and effects
Tania Elena González-Alvarado
Renata Kubus
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
4
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
254
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT:
causes and effects
Tania Elena González-Alvarado
Universidad de Guadalajara, México
Renata Kubus
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
INTRODUCTION
Collaboration between companies is essential for local development (Esser
et al., 1996; Alburquerque, 2006; Erkuş-Öztürk & Eraydın, 2010). In free
market environments, such collaboration needs to be run with agents
coming from other countries (González & Rodenes, 2008). It allows the
company to operate in several regions with lower risks, costs and resources
(González, 2007).
These collaborations may or may not lead to the creation of value (Band,
1994, Fernández, Montes & Vázquez, Vidal, 2000, Prahalad & Ramaswamy,
2004, Zott & Amit, 2009). Asymmetric relationships (Keohane, 1990, Di
Filippo, 1998, Tickner, 2011; Pérez, & Cambra-Fierro, 2015) present an
obstacle to business cooperation strategies and, almost always, the ties that
are formed are characterized by the dependence of the smaller company
towards the bigger one. The relationships encouraged among Information
Technology (IT) companies worldwide are mainly asymmetric. They are
maintained progressively through certifications. They validate the
representation and use of certain technology, property of the transnational
company for a smaller one.
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
255
In this way, the information technology sector is no stranger to the relations
under the competition strategy. It is a sector in which the ties tend to be
many, but they mostly translate into asymmetric and dependent
relationships. One of the reasons, is the need for telecommunications
infrastructure which is in the hands of one or two companies (Almeida,
2001, Fisher & Serra, 2004, Razo & Rojas, 2007). During the last century,
telecommunications infrastructure was developed by public capital, which
when privatized led to the existence of monopolies that persist to these
days.
Another reason, is that technological innovation corresponds to more
developed countries, and its adoption has barriers for the transfer and
assimilation that many time results in another, own innovation (Godínez,
2000, Yarza, 2004, Bandala, 2007, González, 2008, Arceo & Urturi , 2010;
Maldonado, 2012). These two facts, infrastructure and barriers to
technology transfer, combine to characterize Mexican IT companies based
on the existing infrastructure for Telecommunications. Furthermore, it
implies scarce development of proprietary technologies; minor
development in terms of hardware; high concentration on a smaller size
and customized software development; oriented mainly to consulting.
In general, foreign corporations intensive in digitised services (for instance,
from banking sector), establishing itself in other countries, enter
accompanied by the need of their software adoption and implementation in
order to effectively take the control of their subsidiaries (being) established
there. In case of the periphery countries, lower costs and the distance from
the headquarters makes interesting an establishment of their own software
companies there, if prospering foreseen to provide even some IT services to
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
256
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
the mother company and its subsidiaries in other countries. In a particular
case of Mexico, relative proximity of the strong economy of the United
States or Canada, furthermore implying higher development and lower
risk level of Mexico, makes from this country an interesting starting
operational point for such IT of multinational companies which are for
instance from Europe.
However, the multinational companies are obliged to maintain strict
internal cost controls and to provide an extensive overview of the labour
conditions of their employees to the shareholders (and customers). Thus,
they do not expand so much the number of internal IT departments and
employees. They rather establish new IT and consultancy companies and/
or enter the allegiances with the existing ones. Because of the IT software
and hardware strict audit requirements perspective, they would need to
have the partners among the so called Big 5 global consultancy companies,
such as Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), Deloitte Touche
Consulting (Deloitte Consulting), Ernst & Young, KPMG Consulting,
PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Big international IT companies (IBM, Oracle,
INDRA, for instance) will be other partners to take into account for this
reason.
Prestige, lower risk and common history of collaboration in other markets
and countries are also relevant dimensions being taken into account. Other
IT companies to be considered would rather need to have strong, local
knowledge (reporting to national authorities is in general such an area, for
instance) or connections, or probably personal relationships, even if most
probably not direct ones. In sum, it leads to the establishment of rather an
opaque framework of flow of exchanging the benefits and losts, and
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
257
favours among the companies and their high executives and widening,
deepening and in general enlarging the sub-contraction chain of projects
and workers. Only at further stages, more genuinely local providers would
be probably able to enter the allegiances. Open source software companies
can be an interesting case to study, probably showing other dynamics in
place.
CUSTOM I Z E D S O F T WA RE I N F RASTRUC T U R E IN
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
The development and incorporation of new technologies in the economy is
essential in the process of value creation (Yoguel, 2000; Capó et al., 2007), it
translates into a major evolution of production and organization models
and other activities of the companies. (Sieber & Valor, 2008). However, for
its incorporation into the economy, innovative technologies require
telecommunications infrastructure. The combination of both, infrastructure
and technology, gives way to the development of customized software.
The software industry is knowledge-intensive (Novick, 2002, Erbes et al.,
2006) and can generate skilled and better-paid jobs, as well as innovative
environments. In addition, this business requires less initial investment
than others (Hualde & Gomis, 2007). It also implies high value-added
activities related to the software industry such as consulting, maintenance,
support and integration that, in general, are aimed at satisfying a specific
need of the client.
The technical and productive characteristics of the different activities that
the software industry comprises give rise to different relationships between
companies and, therefore, to a different geography of their disposal.
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
258
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
Customized software is developed through close and constant interaction
with the client (Hualde & Gomis, 2007). It is characterized by the provision
of intangible services, making intensive use of knowledge and innovation,
that are main sources of generation of competitive advantages. It has a high
potential to generate added value and create new jobs, it also implies
training that is much higher than for the average economy. In addition,
there is an evidence of an increasing penetration in various economic
activities and a clear predominance of micro, small and medium
enterprises (Estayno et al., 2009).
ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
IN LATIN AMERICA
Infrastructure has a high impact on poverty reduction and sustained
economic development (González, 1993; Moser, 1998; Roller & Waverman,
2001; Ali & Pernia, 2003). According to Perrotti and Sánchez (2011) in Latin
America and the Caribbean, recent years have shown a decrease in
investments earmarked for this purpose, which caused a distancing
between the infrastructure requirements and the effective provision of it.
According to Perrotti and Sánchez (2011), it is necessary to invest annually
around 5.2% of the regional GDP to respond to the needs of companies and
final consumers in the region, only in the period 2006-2020. This volume
investment has not been achieved in Latin America. Graphs 1 and 2 show
the low and inconstant investment in telecommunications infrastructure in
Latin America. Careful consideration of the data is required as the time
span is corresponding to the last collapse related to international crisis.
There is an inconsistency happening both in public and private investment.
The countries with the greatest impact of investment in this area are the
smallest of the region.
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
259
Graph 1. Private investment in telecommunications as a percentage of
GDP (2008-2014)
Source: Own elaboration based on BID (2017) data.
Mexico is positioned in the last places in this statistical comparison (Graphs
1 & 2). This is unfortunate because it impedes the development of the
region. The maximum investment has been concentrated in the big cities
and in the main commercial routes, both of them are attractive for foreign
investment that is shaping up as a maquiladora (assembly line services and
industry).
This favors economic growth in the short term in certain regions of the
country but accentuates the inequalities between regions and hinders the
growth of rural areas. There are locations areas of companies with
international activities that have no proper communication infrastructure
and, therefore, do not have Internet access. This condition in turn requires
ARG BEL COL CRIC MEX NIC PERU TTO
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
260
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
establishing offices in the urban area, increasing operating costs and further
complicating the company operations.
Graph 2. Public investment in Telecommunications as a GDP percentage
(2008-2014)
Source: Own elaboration based on BID (2017) data.
Mexico is positioned in the last places in this statistical comparison. This is
unfortunate because it impedes the development of the region. The
maximum investment has been concentrated in the big cities and in the
main commercial routes, both of them are attractive for foreign investment
that is shaping up as a maquiladora (assembly line services and industry).
This favors economic growth in the short term in certain regions of the
country but accentuates the inequalities between regions and hinders the
ARG BRA CHI COL DOM HON MEX NIC PAN
PERÚ PARA ELS
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
261
growth of rural areas. There are locations areas of companies with
international activities that have no proper communication infrastructure
and, therefore, do not have Internet access. This condition in turn requires
establishing offices in the urban area, increasing operating costs and further
complicating the company operations.
A greater availability and quality of infrastructure services facilitates a
higher productivity and lower production costs for producers (Rozas,
2010). The higher profitability encourages investment and, therefore,
increases the product growth potential. The main reason for the insufficient
development of the basic infrastructure of Latin America in the last two
decades lies in the difficulties that countries have had to maintain an
adequate rhythm of investment in the different activities of the sector
(Rozas, 2010).
Both public and private investment retain an important role in the
construction of environments that facilitate the use of IT and its adequate
assimilation by local agents. The existence of competitive companies that
operate in the IT sector depend heavily on the existence of
telecommunication infrastructure.
Investment in infrastructure leads to an increase in the number of
companies operating in the sector; such is the Spanish case. It needs to be
taken into careful consideration as Spanish economy and its actors have a
prevailing old-school inclination towards the hard infrastructure (see for
instance, real estate and associated bubble undermining the general
economy, regional airports or motorways explosion with the waste of
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
262
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
public money due to their closing or need for compensation for the private
losses).
The telecommunications infrastructure is one of the best in Europe,
however the operations run on them are not at the level that hopefully will
increase in the future. The Spanish IT sector is characterized by the
sustained growth in the number of companies, which went from 25,838 in
1999 to 55,707 in 2008. Small companies, however, are proliferating, and in
many cases, micro-companies with sole ownership. Thus, 56% of the total
companies in the sector correspond to self-employed professionals without
contracted employees (which represents an increase of 5 percentage points
with respect to 2001), and 24% corresponds to companies with one or two
employees, especially in the IT services segment, where 58% of the
companies are formed by independent professionals. It is followed by the
telecommunications services segment, with 50%, and third, manufacturing,
with 34%. (Sieber & Valor, 2008)
Likewise, the IT services segment brings together 88% of the total number
of companies in the IT sector, which are mainly focused on consultancy,
supply, IT assessment for applications and computer programs, as well as
rental, maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment. (Sieber &
Valor, 2008).
Another example is Egypt. During more than three decades, Egypt has
implemented IT policy plans and established the relevant institutions and
regional technology centers in order to boost the international
competitiveness of the sector and the inflows of IT related foreign
investments. In 2011 and 2012, the number of Egyptian IT companies
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
263
increased at an annual rate of approximately 15%, so that in 2012 the
country had more than 5,000 companies of this type. (WIPO, 2014)
In the period 2011-2012, the income of the IT industry reached 65,000
million Egyptian pounds. In 2012, exports reached a total of 1,442 million
Egyptian pounds. In the period 2012-2013, the ICT sector contributed 3.3
percentage points to Egyptian GDP. In 2012, the IT sector employed 283,000
workers through direct contracting. For IT companies in other countries,
Egypt has been an attractive destination for investment for more than a
decade. Companies such as Apple, Cisco, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle,
Teradata, Valeo, Vodafone or Yahoo!, among others, have subsidiaries in the
country (WIPO, 2014).
Most Egyptian companies are engaged in data transmission and hosting
activities in the field of IT services and related administrative support
services, or what is also referred to as outsourcing of business services, or
software manufacturing. Either these are Egyptian companies that provide
their services mainly to foreign multinationals from high income countries
or else such multinationals have established subsidiaries in Egypt, and
those are the ones that execute the activities directly (WIPO, 2014).
On the basis of available data, it is not easy to adequately analyze the
extent and nature of innovation in the IT sector in Egypt, whether these are
local ICT companies or subsidiaries of multinational companies (WIPO,
2014). When analyzing the available IT specific data; or the main data
compiled during the study mission, it appears that only a small number of
Egyptian IT companies were engaged in R & D and innovation activities.
Thus, for instance, among the 400 software companies, the focus is on the
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
264
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
production of a customized software, intended for another end user, as
input to services aimed at completion of a tangible or intangible product
(WIPO, 2014). The activity focuses on traditional processes, testing and
configuration and other basic activities, rather than on more advanced
innovation.
When deciding on matters and investment, multinational companies did
not usually take into account Egypt's R & D capabilities or considered them
irrelevant. Most of the affiliates of the multinationals in the ICT sector in
Egypt are engaged in marketing and sales and the possible manufacturing
or adaptation of existing products to local markets or other Arabic-
speaking countries. For these companies, the main investment factor in
Egypt is a highly qualified and specialized workforce (WIPO, 2014). The
point is here that this is a stage in the innovation ecosystem establishment.
With time probably this activity will have the possibility of evolving into a
more advanced one.
Mexico is the sixth best destination in the world for the location of global
services, which include outsourcing of Information Technology (IT) and
business process outsourcing (BPO) services, as well as work in voice (such
as contact and call centers). On the other hand, Mexico ranked second in
Latin America as an investment destination, attracting 23% of the total
investment in the software sector projects. Furthermore, it is considered
also the best destination in the Americas for the establishment of IT
companies (ProMéxico, 2017).
Mexico has become the third largest exporter of IT services worldwide.
Exports of IT services and BPOs showed a 12.25% growth, increasing its
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
265
value to 5.560 million dollars with respect to the previous year, 2011.
(ProMéxico, 2017).
The IT industry in Mexico is composed by small and medium-sized
companies oriented mainly to the production of services. A significant
proportion of software production in the country is self- or in-house
consumption, so that large companies in other sectors develop or adapt
internally the software programs they use and the IT services they require.
(ProMéxico, 2017).
The largest or so-called corporate companies are focused on
implementation services and, in particular, the development of customized
software and the implementation and support of solutions; a very high
proportion of these services are offered through outsourcing of personnel
where the company is not responsible for the project, which reflects lower
added value and vulnerability (Select, 2012).
It seems that when the size of the Mexican company decreases, its portfolio
of goods and services is becoming more diversified; that is, smaller
companies sell equipment, software and services in a more heterogeneous
mix, reflecting less focus and specialization. The same happens when
analyzing ICT services divided into consulting, implementation, support
and outsourcing. This diversification is also associated with lower
proportions of turnover per employee, so it can be affirmed that the most
specialized companies are those with the highest performance (Select,
2012).
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
266
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
Both, small and medium companies are those that have a higher percentage
of linkage with multinational companies. In general, all sizes of companies
mainly serve as distribution channels (23%), solution integrators (30%)
and / or service providers (47%) of multinational companies that do not
necessarily have headquarters in Mexico (Select, 2012). Of the 23% of the
companies that serve as distribution channels, 35% reported that in
addition to distributing solutions, they are in the process of obtaining the
necessary certifications that accredit them as service providers (Select,
2012).
On the other hand, of 42% of the companies that do not have a business
relationship with a multinational company, 47% reported that they are
already in the process of having it. The software development and IT
services sectors, as well as the research centers, have high percentages of
association with global companies and institutions. It is noteworthy that
the creative media segment is mainly focused on the realization of local
projects. This finding reflects the need for programs focused on the
internationalization of this sector in Mexico. Lastly, remote business
services and contact centers are the segments with the lowest linkage
percentages due to the weight of local content derived from the type of
activities they perform (Select, 2012). Under this scenario, we proceeded to
analyze the results achieved by a group of small and medium-sized
Mexican companies.
METHODOLOGY
The database on companies operating in business cooperation networks
within the framework of Al-Invest corresponding to the information
technology sector, was integrated by companies that participated in the
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
267
program through Nacional Financiera (NAFIN) . The Eurocentro Nafin
organized 16 business meetings in the period 2002-2009 (2,724 participating
companies). Two of these events were for Information Technology. About
the companies studied, those that had disappeared were identified and a
comparison was made between those that are still operating and those that
closed. In a period of ten years the information is available for the
companies that once operated in the sector and are not there any longer
(2008-2017).
The companies initially had the requirements included in different
directories, these were: website and links with companies from other
regions. The Nafin Eurocenter was asked for the data about the events
starting in 2002 because it was allowing a greater distance between the
current situation of the companies and the meetings. In this way, we were
able to analyze in retrospection the behavior of the links between
companies and other local agents. Since the strategies within the business
collaboration link were the aim of the study, the employer or strategist was
required to facilitate interviews, workshops and field visits. This greatly
reduced the study group and subordinated its size in terms of the
phenomenon studied. In this way a study group consisted of only 35
Mexican companies.
Flyvbjerg (2006) points out that when the objective is to achieve as much
information as possible about a given problem or phenomenon, a
representative case or a random sample may not be the most appropriate
strategy. This is because the typical case or the average case usually does
not provide the best or the most appropriate information. Atypical or
extreme cases usually reveal more information because they activate more
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
268
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
actors and more basic mechanisms in the situation being studied. In
addition, from a perspective oriented to the understanding but also to the
action, it is usually more important to clarify the deep causes of a certain
problem and its consequences than to describe the symptoms of the
problem and the frequency with which they occur.
Random samples that accentuate representativeness will rarely produce
this type of knowledge and it is more appropriate to select only some cases
due to their validity. (Flyvbjerg, 2006: 45) That is why within this project the
case study is deepened, event if this leads to obtain results more slowly and
with a greater cost.
A questionnaire was applied to entrepreneurs in the sector, field visits were
made, and a workshop was held with eight businessmen. The evidence
recovered through these three tools has been complemented with the
search for information about companies through electronic means. This
allows to triangulate the results and complement the obtained information.
A database was created, containing both qualitative and quantitative
information for each company. That allowed the recording and analysis of
the results. In relation to qualitative information, the binary system has
been fundamental to measure the frequency of events among the
companies studied, identifying tendencies, contradictions and unusual
situations that may contribute to the theory of international cooperation
links, local development and strategies for international competitiveness in
the Information Technology sector.
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
269
The analysis of the data is enriched with the statistical and economic data
obtained by international organizations (IDB, ECLAC, among others) and
national organizations (INEGI, WIPO, SE, among others). Because the
phenomenon studied is the international business cooperation network
and its local impact, the development of the analysis and interpretation
were run at three levels: global, national and local.
RESULTS
The studied companies are mainly concentrated in large cities (Mexico City,
Guadalajara and Monterrey). Because they depend on the
telecommunications infrastructure, none of the group of companies studied
is located in the rural areas.
As indicated in Graph 3, the inward trend of ties with foreign companies is
the establishment of representation agreements. Second, and with fewer
companies interested, are consulting and technology transfer contracts.
This is contrary to what would be expected in the sector. As a sector
understood to be oriented on the development of technologies, in principle,
agreements should be characterized by technology transfer and joint
investment projects. In relation to the establishment of ties and their
maintenance over time, entrepreneurs show a highly rational attitude in
terms of profitability and liquidity. The same, in principle, cannot be
applied for the risk derived from the links, only 57.14 percent considers it.
In fact, 94.28 percent of companies are in a constant process of search of
new international partners despite the fact that 74.28% have faced failures
within the ties. This is due to the fact that especially in the IT sector, the
strength of the company is considered also in terms of the agreements
portfolio (with a particular accent on the international ones). When larger
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
270
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
and more diverse, the negotiation power and future outlook of the
company in particular are reinforced.
Graphic 3. Collaboration agreements type
Source: own elaboration based on the results from the projects PAPIIT IN308008 UNAM
and "Generation of value and international cooperation in the small companies in Latin
America" UDG-CA-484.
The history of the collaborations is also relevant for acquiring new
contracts, some of them can even be not profitable in the economic terms
but are considered due to the terms of prestige. Being in the game is an
important asset for company image also. As for the results and quality of
the cooperation itself it is always prone to mixed experience.
!
"
#!
#"
$!
$"
%!
&'()'*'+,-,./+0
-1)''2'+,
3/+*45,.+106/+,)-6,
7'68 +/ 5/ 190,)-+ * :')0
6/+,)-6,
,'68+/5/190,)-+*: ')0
6/+,)-6,
;/.+,0<'+,4)'
=+/>08/>
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
271
According to generally accessible estimates two thirds to 90% of the IT
contracts are not delivered in time and within the budget and when this is
the case it is because they were initially overestimated as recognized by the
companies’ managers. This is due to the limited knowledge of the reality,
not sufficient time taken for the assessment and also the fierce competition
in the field meaning that high executives know that probably the
evaluation provided would need severe amendments.
In principle, the extreme cases of projects proposals are not contemplated
directly (the most expensive or the cheaper, for instance) as not being
‘rational’. It can be considered a kind of silent pact between both sides. In
this way software or service provided in the estimated timeframe is
somehow corresponding to the initial requirements but not really working
for the reality. As this is the general dynamic this is rather hard to recognize
who was bad or worse.
Especially that it is mixed with the human factor, simply accompanying the
customer with different problems arising during the project
implementation can be considered more valuable than the real success of
some project, anyway very difficult to reach with the unrealistic
expectations being the general dynamic (as much as 75% of IT managers
believe that their projects are doomed from start).
Probably this is the unwanted outcome of the 2000 IT bubble when some
even small IT amendments were charged very high, after that the general
expectation was that IT sector specialists are always ‘overshooting’ with the
difficulty. From higher level everything is tending to be simplified, and
smaller projects can be more easily sold in and outside the company for
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
272
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
running them. Once in the project, it is difficult to leave it and restart it
with other partners, the same is the case for the innovation companies. This
shows the high rationality of the strategists when establishing the ties
(Table 1).
Table 1. Perception of the informant about international ties
Source: own elaboration based on the results from the projects PAPIIT IN308008 UNAM
and "Generation of value and international cooperation in the small companies in Latin
America” UDG-CA-484.
Following the explanation, 80 percent of the companies studied maintain
ties with foreign companies. This is a fundamental characteristic if one
takes into account the need for certifications to participate in the market
and the interest in representations. In other words, the Information
Technologies sector is characterized by international ties, the exception
being the existence of unrelated companies. These unrelated companies
pursue the establishment of such links (Table 1).
The group of companies that closed shows similar results to the group of
companies that remain active (table 2). Although, there is greater interest in
calculating profitability, liquidity and risk in the companies that are active.
85% of the companies that closed maintained international ties, and even,
they had fewer failures than the active ones. This shows that in business
Maintains relations considered as an international cooperation
80%
Has failed to establish links with agents from abroad
74.28%
Considers profitability in establishing relations with agents from abroad
94.28%
Considers liquidity when engaging with agents from abroad
74.28%
Calculates the risk derived from the links with agents from abroad
57.14%
Remains in search of new international collaborators
94.28%
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
273
collaboration for one hundred percent open and high-speed industries,
international collaboration is basic and in principle does not add more to
the competitiveness of the company, even for the case of economies in the
periphery. Everything depends on the particular partners, agreements,
ways of approaching the projects executions and perhaps simply the good
luck in its implementation and the environment of the time. However, in
case of the periphery, this collaboration is probably more dependent,
asymmetric and competition mechanisms are more forced.
Table 2. Comparison between active and non-active companies
Source: own elaboration based on the results from the projects PAPIIT IN308008 UNAM
and "Generation of value and international cooperation in the small companies in Latin
America". UDG-CA-484
CONCLUSIONS
There is rather scarce commercial policy and development in the
telecommunications sector in Mexico. Although this sector is an important
step towards innovation and furthermore supposes an increase in the
Companies that
closed (percentage
over 13)
Active companies
(percentage over 22)
International cooperation ties
85%
77.27%
Failed to establish links with agents
abroad
69.23%
77.27%
Consider profitability in establishing
links with agents from abroad
92.30%
95.45%
Consider liquidity when engaging
with agents from abroad
69.23%
77.27%
Calculate the risk derived from the
links with agents from abroad
53.84%
59.09%
It remains in search of new
international collaborators
92.30%
95.45%
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
274
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
population welfare. Such is the case in countries like Korea, an example of
the positive impact of telecommunications on development.
The data shows that in Latin America the symptoms are general. The
smaller countries have a higher proportion of investment compared to
GDP. In the case of the larger countries, such as Mexico, the proportion is
smaller. This can be retracted to the scale effects. Being a maquiladora
(assembly line industry and services) country, in principle this does not
negatively affect economic growth; but it does not positively affect
economic growth accompanied by local development.
The main symptom is the drastic change from year to year in the amount of
investment dedicated to this question. It is clear that investment in the
telecommunications sector depends more on the individual decision of the
investors in the unfolding world scenario, leading to investment and
disinvestment, rather than a national policy that attracts capital to this area.
This can be traced back to the disposition of exploitation of the market
potential by the international companies, which in principle does not
require an active country policy, probably involving the national and local
governing part wanting to participate in the benefits, which in turn rather
retracts the investors appetites due to the higher risks of involvement in
doubtful and prone to the prestige affecting operations, furthermore not
easily gaining support at the higher company levels.
The problem with the infrastructure is that it can hardly be ‘rolled-back’,
once done it will stay in the country benefitting or not the investor. So that,
the investment in this case will highly depend on the economic cycles,
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
275
expanding when the environment is favorable and retracting in more
challenging times. Anyway, the international companies need to be in the
picture, for the international prestige and for demonstrating the business
savviness of the managers, i.e. not losing the potential business
opportunities that can arise in unforeseeable future. This makes it difficult
to distinguish the real dynamic behind the infrastructure investments.
What happens with the Mexican companies that operate in the sector?
They identify more with software development than with hardware. It is
considered that the most important innovation should be in the hardware,
or hardware plus software ... otherwise, there is a risk of having only
companies that create small systems without importance and which rather
foster the technological dependence on the countries advanced in this area.
The question here is also that this software is volatile, can be rather easily
copied and replaced by a cheaper one in the future. In other words, in
Mexico we are facing the companies that hopefully only at this preliminary
stage adapt the technology already created to the activities of local agents
who demand their services, encouraging the consumption of technology
rather than innovation.
It is not surprising that these companies are passive in the search of foreign
partners. Neither, that most of them have foreign suppliers and probably
no customers from other regions. Nor it is surprising that companies that
are competitive at the national level, are those with foreign capital. But the
IT companies from Mexico or with Mexican participation are starting to be
involved in the game, which opens the doors for learning and taking a
more proactive stance in the global world of IT sector in the future. As
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
276
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
already explained, probably Mexico is the best bet for IT development
among the Latin American countries anyway. Hopefully further research
can deepen the analysis proposed.
REFERENCE
Alburquerque, F. (2006)."Clusters, territorio y desarrollo empresarial: diferentes
modelos de organización productiva. Inter-American Development Bank.
Ali, I., & Pernia, E. M. (2003). Infrastructure and Poverty Reduction-What is
the Connection?. Manila: Asian Development Bank".
Arceo, E., & Urturi, M. (2010). Centro, periferia y transformaciones en la
economía mundial."documento de trabajo, (30).
Band, W. (1994)."Creación del valor. La clave de la gestión competitiva: Diseño e
implantación de una estrategia global. Ediciones Díaz de Santos.
Bandala, C. (2007). Territorio, Conocimiento y Tecnología."Aportes,"12(36),
115-118.
Boulard, M. (1992)."La cooperación empresarial: análisis de su proceso. IMPIVA.
Capó-Vicedo, J., Expósito-Langa, M., & Masiá-Buades, E. (2007). La
importancia de los clusters para la competitividad de las PYME en una
economía global."EURE (Santiago),"33(98), 119-133.
de Almeida, M. (2001). La política de la privatización de las
telecomunicaciones en Brasil."Revista de Economia Política,"21(2), 82.
Erbes, A., Robert, V., & Yoguel, G. (2006). El sendero evolutivo y
potencialidades del sector de software en Argentina."La informática en
la Argentina. Desafíos a la especialización ya la competitividad.
Erkuş-Öztürk, H., & Eraydın, A. (2010). Environmental governance for
sustainable tourism development: Collaborative networks and
organisation building in the Antalya tourism region. "To u r i sm
management,"31(1), 113-124.
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
277
Esser, K., Hillebrand, W., Messner, D., & Meyer-Stamer, J. (1996).
Competitividad sistémica: nuevo desafío para las empresas y la
política."Revista de la CEPAL.
Estayno, M., Dapozo, G., Greiner, C., Cuenca, L., & Pelozo, S. (2009).
Caracterización de las pymes de software de la región NEA orientada
hacia un marco de mejora de la calidad. In"XV Congreso Argentino de
Ciencias de la Computación.
Fernández, E. (1991). La cooperación empresarial. "Información Comercial
Española, (693), 25-38.
Fernández, E., Montes, J., & Vázquez, C. (1999). Las fuentes de creación de
valor en la empresa."Boletín de Estudios Económicos,"54, 95.
Fischer, R., & Serra, P. (2004)."Efectos de la privatización de servicios públicos en
Chile: Casos sanitario, electricidad y telecomunicaciones. Washington: Inter-
American Development Bank.
Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study
research."Qualitative inquiry,"12(2), 219-245.
García, E. (1993). La cooperación empresarial: una revisión de la
literatura."Información Comercial Española, (714), 87-98.
Godínez, J. (2000). Redes empresariales: asimetrías y opciones de
aprendizaje."Análisis económico,"15(31).
González, S. (1993)."Temas de organización económica internacional"(No.
330.91/G64t). McGraw-Hill.
González, T. (2007). Redes de cooperación empresarial internacionales vs
redes locales."Revista Venezolana de Gerencia,"12(37).
González, M. (2008). Políticas de innovación y servicios a empresas
intensivos en conocimiento: una aproximación general. "Revista
Iberoamericana de Ciencia Tecnología y Sociedad,"4(10), 9-18.
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
278
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
González, D., & Rodenes, M. (2008). La influencia del capital relacional,
innovación tecnológica y orientación al mercado sobre los resultados
empresariales en empresas de alta tecnología: Un modelo
conceptual."Pensamiento & Gestión, (25), 113-138.
Hualde, A., & Gomis, R. (2007). pyme de software en la frontera norte de
México: desarrollo empresarial y construcción institucional de un
cluster."Problemas del Desarrollo,"38(150), 193-212.
Maldonado, G., Sánchez, J., Gaytán, J., & García, R. (2012). Measuring the
competitiveness level in furniture SMEs of Spain."International Journal
of Economics and Management Sciences,"1(11), 09-19.
Moser, C. (1998). The asset vulnerability framework: reassessing urban
poverty reduction strategies."World development,"26(1), 1-19.
Novick, M. (2002)."La dinámica de oferta y demanda de competencias en un sector
basado en el conocimiento en Argentina"(No. 119). Santiago de Chile:
United Nations Publications.
Pérez, L., & Cambra-Fierro, J. (2015). Learning to work in asymmetric
relationships: insights from the computer software industry. "Supply
Chain Management: An International Journal,"20(1), 1-10.
Perrotti, D., & Sánchez, R. (2011)."La brecha de infraestructura en América
Latina y el Caribe "(No. 153). Santiago de Chile: United Nations
Publications.
Prahalad, C., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004)."El futuro de la competencia: creación
conjunta de valor único con los consumidores. Barcelona: Grupo Planeta.
ProMéxico (2017). Tecnologías de Información. México: Secretaría de
Economía, 2 pp.
Razo, C., & Rojas, F. (2007). "Del monopolio de Estado a la convergencia
tecnológica: evolución y retos de la regulación de telecomunicaciones en
América Latina. Santiago de Chile: United Nations Publications.
Asymmetric collaboration in Mexican companies in IT: causes and effects
González-Alvarado, T; Kubus, R.
279
Roller, L., & Waverman, L. (2001). Telecommunications infrastructure and
economic development: A simultaneous approach."American Economic
Review,"91(4), 909-923.
Rozas, P. (2010). América Latina: problemas y desafíos del financiamiento
de la infraestructura."Revista Cepal. N. 101.
Select (2012). Análisis de la industria de TI para evaluar los logros de los
componentes del Banco Mundial y de las estrategias del PROSOFT.
México: Secretaría de Economía, 250 pp."
Sieber, S., y Valor, J. (2008). El sector de las tecnologías de la información y
comunicación en España en el contexto europeo: evolución y tendencias.
Madrid; e-business Center Price Water House Coopers & IESE
Vidal, M. (2000). Las alianzas estratégicas globales para la
internacionalización.. Su contribución a la creación de valor en la
empresa."Economía Industrial,"333, 49-56.
WIPO (2014). Resumen del estudio sobre el sector de las tecnologías de la
Información en Egipto y la Evaluación de la propiedad intelectual. CDIP/
13/INF/7. Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization.
Yarza, C. (2004). Sobre los usos de Schumpeter en el discurso de la política
científica."Revista Iberoamericana de Ciencia Tecnología y Sociedad,"1(2),
195-209.
Yoguel, G. (2000). Creación de competencias en ambientes locales y redes
productivas."Revista de la CEPAL.
Zott, C., & Amit, R. (2009). Innovación del modelo de negocio: creación de
valor en tiempos de cambio."Universia Business Review,"3(23).
Competitiveness Development in Regions, Sectors and Institutions
280
Sánchez-Gutiérrez, J., González-Alvarado, T., González-Uribe, E., Espinoza-Mercado, O. (coord.)
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
La infraestructura económica constituye un herramental de alto impacto en la reducción de la pobreza y el logro del desarrollo económico sostenido. En América Latina y el Caribe, los últimos años han mostrado una disminución en las inversiones destinadas con este fin, lo que ocasionó un distanciamiento entre los requerimientos de infraestructura y la provisión efectiva de la misma. En el presente documento se utilizaron metodologías alternativas para cuantificar esta brecha. Como resultado, se determinó que sería necesario invertir anualmente en torno al 5,2% del PBI regional (unos 170.000 millones de dólares de 2000) para dar respuesta a las necesidades que surgirán de las empresas y los consumidores finales de la región entre los años 2006 y 2020, mientra que si lo que se quiere es alcanzar los niveles de infraestructura per cápita de un conjunto de países del sudeste asiático las cifras anuales requeridas para igual período ascenderían al 7,9% del PBI (unos 260.000 millones de dólares de 2000). Teniendo en cuenta que la inversión en infraestructura observada en el último período conocido (2007-2008) ascendió al 2% del PBI, el esfuerzo por realizar se torna significativo. Sin embargo, una adecuada respuesta a estos requerimientos será un determinante clave del modo de inserción de la región en la economía mundial en el siglo XXI y en la calidad de vida de sus habitantes.
Article
Full-text available
En Baja California, región fronteriza vecina del estado de California, un grupo de pequeñas y medianas empresas (PYME) de software se asociaron formalmente como cluster en 2004. En este artículo se describen y analizan varias dimensiones de esta sociedad con el objetivo de examinar las características de la acción conjunta de estas compañías y el grado de consolidación de la organización colectiva. Los resultados muestran que la organización y las redes entre esas firmas se orientan más a capacitarlas y certificarlas con base en las ayudas públicas que a fortalecer los proyectos de negocios entre ellas.
Article
Full-text available
In this work the importance of clusters for the particular case of SMEs is analyzed, in its road toward knowledge-based and globalize economies. In short the influence that globalization has about the local economies is studied, as well as the importance of the geographical concentration of the companies in order to increase their competitiveness. Among the obtained conclusions it highlights the fact that in these concentrations true communities of knowledge can settle down, where new knowledge is generated and exchanged, at the same time that innovation is empowered, and their competitive advantage is increased. Finally, the particular case of the Valencia Textile Cluster (Spain) is studied, in order to validate the theoretical part of the article.
Article
Full-text available
A pesar de que en la última década se han consolidado estudios teóricos y empíricos que abordan el análisis de la relación entre orientación al mercado y la innovación tecnológica, el capital relacional y la innovación tecnológica, y a su vez la relación de éstos con los resultados empresariales, la evidencia bibliográfica muestra que siguen existiendo áreas de oportunidad para la realización de investigaciones empíricas que analicen la relación conjunta entre estos tres temas, así como su aplicación a sectores emergentes, como lo son las empresas catalogadas dentro de un sector de alta tecnología. Es por lo anterior que este artículo presenta el planteamiento teórico y el modelo conceptual que habrán de servir como base para la realización de un estudio empírico que considera de manera conjunta el análisis de la orientación al mercado, innovación tecnológica, capital relacional y su relación con los resultados empresariales, que tendrá como objeto de estudio empresas de un sector de alta tecnología
Article
El objetivo de este artículo es cuantificar la evolución de las diversas áreas de la infraestructura básica en los países de la región y precisar la dimensión del atraso que estas registran con respecto a los países del sudeste de Asia, cuyo nivel de desarrollo era claramente inferior al de los países latinoamericanos a fines de los años setenta del siglo pasado. En particular, interesa precisar las principales características -a modo de tendencias generales- del desarrollo de la infraestructura básica en América Latina, con especial énfasis en los problemas que registra el proceso inversor en el sector, a fin de establecer las principales consecuencias que tales problemas conllevan y especificar, de este modo, los desafíos que los países de la región están llamados a enfrentar.
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to provide guidance for managers so that they may develop advanced supply chain management (SCM) capabilities in the context of asymmetric alliances. These alliances, generally characterised by large dissimilarities between the partners, often facilitate value-creating opportunities. Design/methodology/approach – Using case studies, the paper analyses similarities and differences in SCM between symmetric and asymmetric alliances within supply networks. It focusses on the key dimensions of complementarity, value distribution, relational management and specialisation. Findings – It was found that the question of complementarity, although important, should not be equated to the need for symmetry but to the ability of the firms in the supply network to learn to work together. For small firms who seek co-creation with large partners, this means collaboration, specialisation through relation-specific investments, flexibility and understanding the overall value system in which their business relationships compete is important. Practical implications – Small firms seeking to develop advanced SCM capabilities have to accept responsibility for selecting a reduced number of key partners and managing relationships. Firms should proactively use the contractual process to learn about partners' expectations and goals and to identify committed champions. These factors play an important role in developing communications and trust, as small firms do not have easy access to senior managers in large corporations. Originality/value – This paper discovered a novel concept – dual value appropriation – where partners do not divide the total value generated as frequently proposed in the literature, but that it is fully appropriated, as it represents a different value proposition for each of them.
Article
El objetivo de este estudio es evaluar la privatización de los sectores de telecomunicaciones, electricidad, sanitario y puertos concesionados en Chile, así como la inversión privada en el sector de gas. Hasta hace unos años, en la mayoría de los países, especialmente de América Latina, estos servicios eran provistos por el Estado, a veces por órganos públicos que no tenían el carácter de empresa ni la exigencia de autofinanciarse. El ciclo de opinión cambió y estos servicios son ahora proporcionados por privados en casi todos los países de América Latina. Con ello ha surgido el interés por evaluar sí se han cumplido las expectativas que se tuvieron al privatizar estos sectores. Este trabajo actualiza y extiende a un mayor número de sectores, un trabajo previo realizado en 2003.
Article
For more than two decades the attainment of sustainable environmental quality and the protection of environmental assets have been at the forefront of central policy issues in global tourism development. Recently, it has been argued that collaborative and associative forms of governance among tourism companies and other related agents are growing in importance in the drive for sustainable and environmentally sensitive tourism. Despite the increasing number of debates on the role of networking on tourism they are not well supported by empirical studies, and still far from explain how such networks can contribute to the sustainable development of territories. This paper aims to contribute to previous literature by analysing together governance networks and literature on sustainable development, and by providing empirical findings that highlight the importance of governance networks in sustainable tourism development, the importance of different scales of collaborative governance networks and the role of organisation building for environmentally sustainable tourism development in Antalya. The paper offers analytical findings on the networks of environmental governance among different types of tourism organisations based on a company-level survey, which reveals an increase in local collaboration and self-help networking based on local concerns and endogenous dynamics among the different actors in tourism. Unfortunately, the findings show that environmental motivations fall far behind economic considerations in networking practices.