Obstacles to performance in the South African autocomponents industry: A firm level perspective on internal learning and organisational behaviour

Lise Granerud

    Research output: Working paperResearch

    Abstract

    The auto-components industry has improved its performance significantly in South Africa during the second half of the 1990's. However, it has not yet reached the level of the international competitors. The present paper suggests that a focus on the firms' internal conditions is a way to identify obstacles preventing further improvement of performance and competitiveness. Organisational behaviour has increasingly become important internationally in the understanding of firm development and learning in the recent years. This paper argues that it is crucial to take into account the behaviour of the organisation in the perception of the problems connected to the development of technology and capabilities in South African SMEs. The paper builds on the immediate findings of a qualitative case study on technological learning in two auto-components enterprises in Greater Durban, where the organisational behaviour in different ways hinders internal learning. These findings are contrasted with a third firm within the metal sector, which has a very different learning environment. The paper emphasises the importance of including the informal organisational behaviour in the understanding of how to develop the technological resources. The study investigates the physical resources, and the human and organisational resources, and relates these to the routines in the organisational behaviour, including formal and informal work practices and social relations at the shop floor in the understanding of what influence technological learning in these firms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
    Number of pages28
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Cite this

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