|María Aline Manzo||Universidad Vasco de Quiroga, Facultad de Negocios, Morelia, 58090, Mexico|
|José Carlos Rodríguez||Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Empresariales, Ciudad Universitaria, Morelia, 58004, Mexico|
Aerospace industry; Design and engineering firms; fsQCA; High performance levels; Mexico
France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States are global leaders in the aerospace industry. Nevertheless, new players (including research, production, and manufacturing centers) have recently emerged in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and Singapore, lowering production costs for aircraft components and other mechanical and electronic systems through intercompany collaboration (Bédier et al., 2008; Casalet, 2013). Emerging economies aim to pursue innovation and disseminate new knowledge to reduce the technological gap between themselves and industrialized economies (Fu et al., 2011). Overall, the aerospace industry in emerging economies has focused on developing joint venture projects between foreign and local investors and other stakeholders to fulfill original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs’) requirements (Bédier et al., 2008; Casalet, 2013; Deloitte, 2019).
In this regard, Mexico has engaged in successful collaboration and implemented strategic actions, such as export promotion and research and development (R&D) efforts, to develop joint ventures, which, combined with the government’s promotion of technology transfer, have led to the growth of the country’s aerospace industry (Goldstein, 2002; Goldstein, 2006; Flores and Villareal, 2017). In fact, Mexico is considered one of the most important investment locations in the aerospace industry and an example of a consolidated aerospace industry that aims to boost innovation (ProMéxico, 2016; Flores and Villareal, 2017). Typically, design and engineering firms (DEFs) have driven the aerospace industry in Mexico, and their performance relies heavily on creating and disseminating new knowledge and venturing into different innovative areas within firms to expand their client portfolios with new products, services, and technologies (FEMIA, 2015).
From a theoretical perspective, the resource-based view considers causal ambiguity and social complexity as two essential features for understanding and explaining firms’ performance (Barney and Clark, 2007). Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) deals with causal complexity by analyzing configurations (i.e., sets of resources) resulting from combinations of different conditions (i.e., resource allocations; Ragin, 2008; Mello, 2021). This paper argues that the causal ambiguity and social complexity considered by the resource-based view can be analyzed using QCA methods to investigate complex causal processes (Wagemann, 2012; Parente and Federo, 2019; Gerrits and Pagliarin, 2020). QCA approaches explain how the presence or absence of different conditions in alternative configurations can result in similar outputs (Ragin, 2008). The set-theoretic relations in QCA employ the concepts of equifinal, conjunctural, and asymmetric causation as explanations for causal complexity (Wagemann, 2012), which in this research related to Mexico’s aerospace industry. The research question underpinning this study was as follows: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions that lead DEFs in Mexico’s aerospace industry to achieve high performance levels (HPLs)?
The results suggest that five conditions are necessary for DEFs in Mexico’s aerospace industry to achieve HPLs: R&D activities, entrepreneurial capacity (EC), absorptive capacity (AC), innovation capacity (IC), and specialized human resources (SHR). The results also suggest that R&D and EC are crucial for achieving HPLs, while AC, IC, and SHR are peripheral to the desired outcome. Finally, this study identified some configurations leading to HPLs in DEFs in Mexico’s aerospace industry. In this country, small- and medium-sized companies share risk through alliances and joint research projects, mainly supported by the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT). The results suggest that DEFs can develop firm-level strategies for managing the resources and processes underpinning the R&D activities, entrepreneurship, and innovation that will lead to high-performing DEFs in Mexico’s aerospace industry.
this introduction, the paper is organized into four sections. Section 2 presents
the literature review that supported the study. Section 3 discusses the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) model
employed in the research for data collection, case selection, and analysis.
Section 4 evaluates and discusses the empirical results, and Section 5 presents
Highly innovative industries require resources to innovate and constantly outperform their competitors, and DEFs in Mexico’s aerospace industry likewise require continual innovation. In this research, AC, IC, EC, SHR, and R&D activities were all necessary conditions for achieving HPLs; however, they did not necessarily have to be present simultaneously to achieve the desired outcome. The causal complexity principle explains that DEFs in this industry may develop a sustained competitive advantage. The conditions evaluated in this study may explain the performance of firms in other countries resembling Mexico, but they may differ from the conditions in industrialized countries with different characteristics for highly innovative industries.
Nevertheless, the parsimonious and intermediate solutions suggest that R&D activities and EC are central conditions, while AC, IC, and SHR are peripheral conditions. The analysis of central and peripheral conditions allows conclusions to be drawn regarding the causal essentiality of specific combinations of causal conditions. Central conditions are critical to the survival of DEFs in Mexico’s aerospace industry, and the causal complexity in this analysis revealed how DEFs can develop a sustained competitive advantage in the global aerospace industry. The results indicate that R&D activities and EC are central conditions in this process, and DEFs must constantly invest in R&D efforts to promote innovation and improve AC. Certainly, R&D activities and SHR are critical for exploiting profitable projects in Mexico’s aerospace industry.
Finally, further research should
consider other causal conditions in the analysis of HPLs, such as the financial
strategies of DEFs in Mexico’s aerospace industry that support innovation
development. Indeed, the aerospace industry is high risk, requiring firms to
carefully manage their financial conditions.
Barca, M., 2017. Economic Foundations of Strategic Management. Routledge, New York, New York, USA
Barney, J.B., Clark, D.N., 2007. Resource-Based Theory: Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK/New York, New York, USA
Bédier, C., Vancauwenberghe, M., van Sintern, W., 2008. The Growing Role of Emerging Markets in Aerospace. Available Online at https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/travel-logistics-and-infrastructure/our-insights/the-growing-role-of-emerging-markets-in-aerospace, Accessed on January 18, 2019
Berawi, M.A., 2018. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Managing Technology Development for Competitiveness. International Journal of Technology, Volume 9(1), pp. 1–4
Boselie, P., Dietz, G., Boon, C., 2005. Commonalities and Contradictions in HRM and Performance Research. Human Resource Management Journal, Volume 15(3), pp. 67–94
Braumoeller, B.F., 2003. Causal Complexity and the Study of Politics. Political Analysis, Volume 11(3), pp. 209–233
Casalet, M., 2013. Actores y Redes Públicas y Privadas en el Desarrollo del Sector Aeroespacial Internacional y Nacional: El Clúster de Querétaro, una Oportunidad Regional (Actors and Public and Private Networks in the Development of the International and National Aerospace Sector: The Querétaro Cluster, a Regional Opportunity). In: La Industria Aeroespacial: Complejidad Productiva e Institucional (The Aerospace Industry: Productive and Institutional Complexity). Casalet, M. (ed.), FLACSO, Mexico City, Mexico
Chamonica, D.D., Gómez, M., 2017. Desarrollo Tecnológico del Sector Aeronáutico en México, Canadá y EE. UU. a Partir de la I+D e IED, 2005–2015 (Technological Development of the Aeronautical Sector in Mexico, Canada and the US based on R&D and FDI, 2005–2015). CIMEXUS, Volume 12(1), pp. 13–33
Cohen, W.M., Levinthal, D.A., 1989. Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D. The Economic Journal, Volume 99(397), pp. 569–596
Cohen, W.M., Levinthal, D.A., 1990. Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, Volume 35(1), pp. 128–152
Deloitte, 2019. Global Aerospace and Defense Industry Outlook. Available Online at https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/sg/Documents/manufacturing/seamanufacturing-2019-global-a-and-d-sector-outlook.pdf, Accessed on January 11, 2019
FAI, 2014. Aerospace Industry in Mexico. Federación Aeronáutica Internacional. Available Online at https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://fai.com.mx/publication-aerospaceindustry-mexico-FAI%20(1).pdf, Accessed on December 29, 2019
FEMIA, 2015. Overviews of Mexico’s Aerospace Industry. Federación Mexicana de la Industria Aeroespacial. Available Online at https://www.pwc.com/mx/es/knowledge-center/archivo/20150604-gx-publicationaerospace-industry.pdf
Fiss, P.C., 2011. Building Better Causal Theories: A Fuzzy Set Approach to Typologies in Organization Research. Academy of Management Journal, Volume 54(2), pp. 393–420
Flores, S., Villareal, A., 2017. Comparative Analysis of the Developmental Strategy of Aerospace Industry in Brazil, Canada, and Mexico: Public-Policy Implications. Latin American Policy, Volume 8(1), pp. 41–62
Flores, M., Villarreal, A., Flores, S., 2017. Spatial Co-location Patterns of Aerospace Industry Firms in Mexico. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, Volume 10(2), pp. 233–251
Fosfuri, A., Tribó, J.A., 2008. Exploring the Antecedents of Potential Absorptive Capacity and Its Impact on Innovation Performance. Omega, Volume 36(2), pp. 173–187
Fu, X., Pietrobelli, C., Soete, L., 2011. The Role of Foreign Technology and Indigenous Innovation in Emerging Economies: Technological Change and Catching Up. World Development, Volume 39(7), pp. 1204–1212
Gerrits, L., Pagliarin, S., 2020. Social and Causal Complexity in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): Strategies to Account for Emergence. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Volume 24(4), pp. 501–514
Goldstein, A., 2002. The Political Economy of High-Tech Industries in Developing Countries: Aerospace in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. Cambridge Journal of Economics, Volume 26(4), pp. 521–538
Goldstein, A., 2006. The Political Economy of Industrial Policy in China: The Case of Aircraft Manufacturing. Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Volume 4(3), pp. 259–273
Gomis, R., Carrillo, J., 2016. The Role of Multinational Enterprises in the Aerospace Industry Clusters in Mexico: The Case of Baja California. Competition & Change, Volume 20(5), pp. 337–352
Hanid, M., Mohamed, O., Othman, M., Danuri, M.S.M., Mei Ye, K., Berawi, M.A., 2019. Critical Success Sectors (CSFS) in University–Industry Collaboration (UIC) Projects in Research Universities. International Journal of Technology, Volume 10(4), pp. 667–676
Hernández, J., Carrillo, J., 2018. Possibilities of Mexican SMEs Insertion in the Aerospace Industry Value Chain: The Baja California Case. Estudios Fronterizos (Border Studies), Volume 19, pp. 1–19
Heru, S., 2016. Innovation Capability of SMEs through Entrepreneurship, Marketing Capability, Relational Capital and Empowerment. Asia Pacific Management Review, Volume 21(4), pp. 196–203
Koroleva, E., Baggieri, M., Nalwanga, S., 2020. Company Performance: Are Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Important? International Journal of Technology, Volume 11(8), pp. 1468–1477
Luna, J., Addepalli, S., Salonitis, K., Makatsoris, H., 2018. Assessment of an Emerging Aerospace Manufacturing Cluster and Its Dependence on the Mature Global Clusters. Procedia Manufacturing, Volume 19, pp. 26–33
Mello, P.A., 2021. Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application. Georgetown University Press, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Moon, C.W., 1999. Impact of Organizational Learning Contexts on Choice of Governance Mode for International Strategic Combinations. Journal of High Technology Management Research, Volume 10(1), pp. 167–202
Morlino, L., 2005. Introduzione alla Ricerca Comparata (Introduction to Comparative Research). Il Mulino, Bologna, Italy
Muñoz, C., Soto, M.C. Rocha, L., 2019. Aerospace Industry in Queretaro, Mexico: A Perspective of Regional Innovation System. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, Bangkok, Thailand, March 5-7, 2019, Code 141008
Newbert, S.L., 2007. Empirical Research on the Resource-based View of the Firm: An Assessment and Suggestions for the Future Research. Strategic Management Journal, Volume 28(2), pp. 121–146
Parente, T.C., Federo, R., 2019. Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Justifying a Neo-configurational Approach in Managing Research. RAUSP Management Journal, Volume 54(4), pp. 399–412
ProMéxico, 2013. ProMéxico Negocios. Gobierno de México. Available Online at http://www.promexico.mx/documentos/revistanegocios/pdf/may-2013.pdf, Accessed on September 11, 2018
ProMéxico, 2016. Global Business Report. Gobierno de México. Available Online at https://www.gbreports.com/publication/mexico-aerospace-2016, Accessed on January 13, 2019
Ragin, C.C., 2008. Redesigning Social Inquiry: Redesigning Social Inquiry Fuzzy Sets and Beyond. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Ragin, C.C., 2009. Qualitative Comparative Analysis using Fuzzy Sets (fsQCA). In: Configurational Comparative Methods: Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques, Rihoux, B., Ragin, C.C. (eds), Sage, Los Angeles, California, USA/London, UK, pp. 87–121
Ragin, C.C., Drass, K.A., Davey, S., 2007. Fuzzy Set/Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Available Online at http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~cragin/fsQCA, Accessed on July 22, 2018
Rihoux, B., Ragin, C.C., 2009. Configurational Comparative Methods, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques. Sage, Los Angeles California, USA/London, UK
Roig-Tierno, N., González-Cruz, T.F., Llopis-Martínez, J., 2017. An Overview of Qualitative Comparative Analysis: A Bibliometric Analysis. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, Volume 2(1), pp. 15–23
Sandoval, S., Morales, M.A., Díaz, H.E., 2019. Estrategia de Escalamiento en las Cadenas Globales de Valor: El Caso del Sector Aeroespacial en México (Scaling Strategy in Global Value Chains: The Case of the Aerospace Sector in Mexico). Entreciencias, Volume 7(20), pp. 35–52
Schneider, C.Q., Wagemann, C., 2010. Standars of Good Practice in Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Comparative Sociology, Volume 9(3), pp. 397–418
Solleiro, J.L., Mejía, A.O., Castañón, R., 2020. Mexico’s Innovation Policy for Aerospace Industry. In: International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) Virtual Conference, June 29, 2020
Vertesy, D., 2012. The Lion with Wings: Innovation System Dynamics in the Aerospace Industry of Singapore. International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, Volume 7(1-2), pp. 118–140
Villarreal, A., Flores, S.M., Flores, M.A., 2016. Patrones de Co-localización Espacial de la Industria Aeroespacial en México (Spatial Co-location Patterns of the Aerospace Industry in Mexico). Estudios Económicos (Economic Studies), Volume 31(1), pp. 169–211
Wagemann, C., 2012. What’s New in the Comparative Method? QCA and Fuzzy Sets Analysis. Revista Mexicana de Análisis Político y Administración Pública (Mexican Journal of Political Analysis and Public Administration), Volume 1(1), pp. 51–75